Cambodian Court Issues Second Warrant to Arrest Opposition Leader Sam Rainsy

A court in Cambodia has issued a new warrant for the arrest of acting president of the banned opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) Sam Rainsy for “insulting the King,” 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 on Sept. 13 brought charges against Sam Rainsy and ordered his detention a day after he gave an interview to RFA’s Khmer Service, in which he suggested that Sihamoni “is afraid of Hun Sen and wants to maintain his throne, so there is nothing we can expect from a king who is the puppet of Hun Sen.”

On Tuesday, Phnom Penh Municipal Court investigative Judge Koy Sao cited the charges in issuing a second warrant for the arrest of Sam Rainsy, 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 a restoration of democracy in Cambodia in November.

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