Retired King Norodom Sihanouk urged his adviser Say Bory to seek refuge in a European country, fearing he may be prosecuted following allegations of defamation and spreading false information against the government.
In a letter dated Nov 23 and posted to his Web site on Friday, the retired King recommended Say Bory relocate to a country where he would be safe from extradition and unmolested by Cambodian politics.
“We have no means to avoid this storm of thunder and lightning that is currently attacking us,” Norodom Sihanouk wrote. “We have to live in a country where they won’t send us to Phnom Penh authorities, because our mistakes are not a criminal case.”
The statements are apparently in response to a letter from Say Bory expressing concern after local media reports that a court summons had been issued in response to his criticism of the supplemental border treaty with Vietnam.
A senior Interior Ministry official said last week that the court had issued a summons for Say Bory to appear in court for questioning.
Say Bory wrote Nov 22 that he had not yet received the summons, and government spokesman Khieu Kanharith declined to comment on the existence of the summons Sunday.
“As the retired King’s adviser I have the duty to provide some ideas about national issues such as the border,” Say Bory wrote in his Nov 22 letter, which was posted on Norodom Sihanouk’s Web site.
“I only analyzed according to the law over the [border] treaty without mentioning any individuals or the government…. I have made no mistake, because I wrote on behalf of my duty as the retired King’s adviser.”
Cambodian Independent Civil Servants Association President Men Nath, Student Movement for Democracy Deputy Secretary General Ear Channa and Free Trade Union President Chea Mony are currently in exile abroad fleeing similar court orders and possible arrest.
Cambodian Center for Human Rights Director Kem Sokha said Sunday that Say Bory’s case is another attempt to silence border critics.
Say Bory also wrote in his letter that to issue an warrant without informing the retired King in advance would be a “tremendous insult” to the monarchy.