Senator Sued by Hun Sen for Defamation Skips Court

Opposition Senator Thak Lany failed to show up for questioning on Monday at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court over allegations she told supporters that Prime Minister Hun Sen ordered the July 10 murder of popular political analyst Kem Ley.

Mr. Hun Sen is suing Ms. Lany and opposition leader Sam Rainsy, who lives in self-imposed exile in France, for defamation. Ms. Lany was summoned to appear on Monday and a motion her lawyer filed to delay the session was denied.

“The prosecutor did not allow the request to delay from the lawyer Sam Sokong, because the request to delay did not have a legal basis,” said Ly Sophanna, the deputy prosecutor in charge of the case. “We are reviewing our next procedures.”

Mr. Sokong said he simply needed more time to prepare his defense.

“The reason we requested a delay was because my client became aware of this news on Thursday, and it was a short time to study the case file,” he said.

Ms. Lany has been unavailable for comment since she was sued on August 1.

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