Cambodian Court Charges Acting Opposition Chief Sam Rainsy With ‘Insulting The King’

A court in Cambodia on Friday charged acting president of the banned opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) Sam Rainsy with “insulting the King,” a day after he gave an interview in which he called King Norodom Sihamoni a “puppet” of Prime Minister Hun Sen.

Phnom Penh Municipal Court prosecutor Keo Sothea brought charges against Sam Rainsy and ordered his detention on the same day that the Ministries of the Royal Palace, Defense, and Justice issued statements slamming the CNRP chief, who lives in self-imposed exile to avoid a number of convictions he says are politically motivated, but has vowed to return to help lead Cambodia next month.

“The Palace condemns Sam Rainsy, who acts traitorously and has repeatedly offended the King, who is highly revered and fulfilling a noble role of protecting national unity and sustainability,” the Royal Ministry said in its statement, followed by a statement from the Ministry of Defense that also called the opposition leader a traitor.

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