Sam Rainsy Appeals to Foreign Lawmakers

Opposition leader Sam Rainsy made an appeal to lawmakers around the world for support on Wednesday in the face of threats to lift his parliamentary immunity.

Referring to his forced removal from the National As­sem­bly in 1995, Sam Rainsy said he was under attack from Prime Minister Hun Sen and National As­sembly President Prince No­ro­dom Ra–­nariddh, who are pursuing a defamation suit against him.

“Today I must appeal again to the international solidarity of all parliamentarians because the two ruling parties in my country are joining hands to remove my parliamentary immunity, which will probably be the first step prior to my…prosecution be­fore a politically subservient tribunal,” he said.

Prince Ranariddh has led a charge to lift the im­munity of Sam Rainsy and two other opposition lawmakers, Chea Poch and Cheam Channy. The Assembly will vote on lifting their immunity at its next session, as requested by Municipal Court Prosecutor Yet Chakriya, the prince has said.

The opposition leader is also ac­cused of causing retired King No­rodom Sihanouk to abdicate by issuing warnings of staged anti-monarch protests ahead of Norodom Sihanouk’s scheduled return to Cambodia last month. Some 60 parliamentarians have signed a petition urging Sam Rain­sy’s prosecution on that charge.

Sam Rainsy accused Prince Ra­na­riddh of doing the CPP’s dirty work by pursuing the immunity issue in the Assembly.

“If they dare remove my immunity and arrest me, the political future of Prince Ranariddh will be finished,” he said.

Government spokesman Khieu Kanharith and Tuot Lux, a Fun­cin­pec spokesman, said the lawsuits are being carried out in ac­cordance with law.

“Mr Sam Rainsy must be re­sponsible for what he has committed,” Khieu Kanharith said.



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