Prime Minister Hun Sen backed down Thursday on his threat to expose a prominent opposition party member as a “spy,” claiming that he was begged not to follow through.
On Wednesday, Hun Sen claimed that he had documents proving an unnamed politician had taken money from him to work as a spy. He also said the individual had criticized the government over gasoline prices and the appointment of his son, Hun Manet, to head a scholarship commission.
“I received a request from France asking Samdech not to publicize the documents,” Hun Sen said, in apparent reference to Sam Rainsy.
“These are the CDs and the documents, but I don’t publicize them. I understand the party’s leader, and I suspended [my decision] temporarily,” he said at a graduation ceremony in Phnom Penh. “This is the 28-page document,” he added, holding up a stack of papers. “I want to keep it secret for now…. Hun Sen does not show the arrows to scare the crows. I have the real arrows.”
SRP lawmaker Son Chhay, who Hun Sen previously accused of spying for him and who commented on Hun Manet’s appointment Tuesday, told reporters at the National Assembly on Thursday morning that Sam Rainsy had communicated from France, warning him not to criticize Hun Sen’s son.
“He called other [SRP] members to tell me not to attack Hun Sen’s son,” Son Chhay said. “I respect him as a prime minister. I did not mean to insult him and his son,” he added.
SRP Secretary-General Eng Chhay Eang denied, however, that Sam Rainsy called Hun Sen. “He didn’t call Hun Sen for a small issue,” he said.