The Phnom Penh Municipal Court summoned the attorney of SRP lawmaker Mu Sochua to speak at the court concerning the opposition lawmaker’s defamation lawsuit against Prime Minister Hun Sen, a court prosecutor said Monday.
Phnom Penh Deputy Prosecutor Hing Bun Chea said he summoned lawyer Kong Sam Onn to appear before the court Thursday to answer questions about the complaint he filed last week on Ms Mu Sochua’s behalf.
When asked if he would request the National Assembly to strip Mr Hun Sen’s parliamentary immunity, he said it was a matter that should be discussed later.
Mr Kong Sam Onn confirmed he had received the summons and said he would go to the court as asked.
“I will go on behalf of Ms Mu Sochua,” he said, adding that he would present evidence, including written documents and audiotapes.
“During the testimony my goal is to ask the prosecutor to press a charge of defamation against Prime Minister Hun Sen,” Mr Kong Sam Onn added.
Mr Hun Sen’s attorney, former Cambodian Bar Association president Ky Tech, is also scheduled to appear at the court Thursday, but to answer questions about the premier’s countersuit.
The competing defamation suits hinge on an April 4 nationally broadcast speech by the prime minister in which he called an unnamed woman from Kampot province the derogatory term “cheung klang.”
Ms Mu Sochua, who is a lawmaker for Kampot, contends that the premier was speaking of her.
On Monday, Council of Ministers spokesman Phay Siphan addressed media reports concerning Mr Hun Sen’s meaning in using the phrase “cheung klang,” which literally means “strong legs.” He insisted that cheung klang, as said by the prime minister, does not mean “prostitute.”
“Cheung klang means troublemaker or a strong woman, and not a prostitute,” Mr Phay Siphan said, adding that media defining the phrase as meaning prostitute would make “people hate Samdech [Hun Sen].”
“This is a technical word. This is a confusion,” he added.