Funcinpec Secretary-General Prince Norodom Sirivudh has filed a defamation lawsuit against a former royalist party governor for accusing the prince of being involved in corruption, a party spokesman said Thursday.
Spokesman Tuot Lux said Prince Sirivudh has filed a complaint in Phnom Penh Municipal Court against former Kandal provincial governor Tep Nonnary, one of several ex-royalist governors and deputy governors who in recent months have charged that corruption was involved in their ouster and have demanded Prince Sirivudh’s removal.
“The prince does not ask for any compensation from Tep Nonnary, but he wants only justice,” Tuot Lux said.
Tep Nonnary said Thursday that he received a summons this week to appear in court today regarding the lawsuit.
He said he wished to postpone questioning until he has met with both Funcinpec President Prince Norodom Ranariddh and Prince Sirivudh “to…apologize to them.”
Still, he maintained that he could prove his allegations that Prince Sirivudh was involved in corruption when appointing the replacement governors.
“I think Prince Norodom Sirivudh filed a complaint against only me because he wants to make an example to threaten other people,” Tep Nonnary said.
Tuot Lux said Prince Sirivudh and Prince Ranariddh could not yet meet Tep Nonnary because they are abroad.
He said the issue was a personal dispute and did not reflect any fractures within the party.
“Funcinpec does not have an internal crisis because the party does not fire [the disgruntled group] yet,” he said.