Opposition leader Sam Rainsy on Sunday said he will appear in Phnom Penh Municipal Court this week to discuss a criminal lawsuit he launched against Prime Minister Hun Sen last month, alleging the premier masterminded a 1997 grenade attack in Phnom Penh.
Sam Rainsy was summoned by deputy court prosecutor Yet Chakriya to appear in court on Thursday, according to court clerk Y Sovann.
“I will go to court myself,” Sam Rainsy said by telephone. But, he said, “I do not believe the Cambodia court” will judge the case fairly.
Sam Rainsy said he will provide evidence to back up his allegations that Hun Sen was responsible for the March 1997 grenade attack, which killed at least 13 people at an opposition-led rally.
According to a statement Saturday from the opposition party, the evidence he will present includes documents from the US Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Sam Rainsy launched his complaint against the prime minister on Feb 2, countering two defamation suits that Hun Sen and the government filed against him after he claimed the CPP was behind the Jan 22 killing of union leader Chea Vichea. He said he demands $50 million in compensation and that Hun Sen face a prison sentence.
As a French citizen, Sam Rainsy launched a similar lawsuit against Hun Sen in French court in 2002. Last month, he said a French investigating judge is scheduled to come to Cambodia to look into the case. If the Cambodian court rejects his case here, he said, he will continue to pursue the complaint in France.
Hun Sen’s adviser Om Yentieng on Sunday said the prime minister will appear in court if summoned, regardless of his parliamentary immunity. He added that if Sam Rainsy’s case is rejected by the court, it would give Hun Sen grounds to sue for defamation. “We have the right [to protect ourselves against defamation]. We will file another lawsuit against Sam Rainsy,” Om Yentieng said.