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French Court Postpones Minister’s Suit

A French appeals court has postponed a hearing for a defamation suit brought by Foreign Minister Hor Namhong against opposition leader Sam Rainsy.

A hearing was set for Oct. 8, but was delayed due to technicalities and health issues of Sam Rainsy.

Hor Namhong brought the suit against Sam Rainsy for remarks in the latter’s autobiography alleging Hor Namhong’s collusion with the Khmer Rouge in a correction camp where several inmates died.

“My lawyer has told me that there is an issue that needs to be looked into,” Sam Rainsy said. “There might be a delay so there won’t be a hearing on the 8 [of October]. I am still waiting for more information from my lawyer. Nothing is 100 percent sure yet.”

A spokesperson for Hor Namhong also confirmed the delay.

The court ruled in favor of Hor Namhong Jan. 27, ordering Sam Rainsy to pay 1 euro in damages and delete a page from his book including the allegation.

Yim Sovann, spokesman for the Sam Rainsy Party, said politicians should get used to criticism and that Sam Rainsy should not be punished.

“What he said was merely to let the national and international community know about freedom of expression,” he said.

Both Yim Sovann and Sam Rainsy said they had collected more evidence to show the appeals court.

No date has been set for another hearing.