Cambodian PM sues opposition leader in French court

Phnom Penh – Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen has filed a defamation lawsuit in French court against his longtime political enemy Sam Rainsy, a lawyer for the Southeast Asian leader said Tuesday.

Paris-based Luc Brossollet confirmed to The Associated Press by phone a report by the Cambodia’s pro-government online Fresh News service that said Hun Sen filed a civil suit over allegations Sam Rainsy reportedly made on Facebook and in an interview. Sam Rainsy was said to have claimed that the Cambodian leader had masterminded the killing of former national police chief Hok Lundy, who died in a 2008 helicopter crash.

Hun Sen has filed several lawsuits against Sam Rainsy in what is generally seen as a form of political harassment. Sam Rainsy has been in exile since late 2015 to avoid a two-year prison sentence on charges of criminal defamation. Hun Sen, who has held power for more than three decades, has used Cambodian courts — which are seen as being under the government’s influence — against other opposition figures as well.

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