A lawyer for self-exiled opposition leader Sam Rainsy filed an appeal on Monday against Thursday’s Phnom Penh Municipal Court ruling ordering him to pay National Assembly President Heng Samrin about $37,500 for defaming him on Facebook.
The court found Mr. Rainsy guilty of defamation for a November 17 post that wrongly claimed the 1980s communist regime, for which Mr. Samrin was head of state, sentenced King Norodom Sihanouk to death.
Mr. Rainsy was not represented during the hearing, but his lawyer, Sam Sokong, said he filed an appeal on Monday.
“Sam Rainsy has said that he did not commit the crime that he was charged with by the court,” he said.
Mr. Rainsy has said that he did not defame Mr. Samrin because he never named the CPP leader in his post—only the regime—and because he only meant the king was sentenced to death “morally and politically.”
Mr. Samrin’s lawyer, Ky Tech, who has said he might also appeal the case to request more compensation, said he was awaiting his client’s instructions.