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Cambodian PM Hits Opposition Chief With New Defamation Suit


FILE - Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen looks at his smartphone at a ceremony in Phnom Penh.

Cambodia's exiled opposition leader is facing two new defamation lawsuits stemming from a Facebook post that accused Prime Minister Hun Sen of offering a young political operative $1 million to attack the opposition.

In a lawsuit filed Wednesday, Hun Sen said opposition leader Sam Rainsy's post was false and demanded $1 million in compensation. The political operative named in the social media post, Thy Sovantha, also denied the accusation and filed a separate defamation case seeking $250,000.

The lawsuits are the latest legal problems for Sam Rainsy, head of the Cambodia National Rescue Party. The cases against him are generally considered part of the prime minister's strategy to weaken his opponents ahead of local elections in June and a general election in 2018.

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