Cambodia’s Supreme Court Upholds Defamation Verdict Against Acting Opposition Chief Sam Rainsy

Cambodia’s Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld a lower court ruling to fine the acting president of the country’s now-dissolved opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) Sam Rainsy for defamation in connection with a lawsuit brought against him by Prime Minister Hun Sen.

In December last year, the Phnom Penh Municipal Court ordered Sam Rainsy—who has been living in self-imposed exile since 2015 to avoid convictions on charges widely seen as politically motivated—to pay 4 billion riel (U.S. $1 million) for a January 2017 Facebook post which alleged that Hun Sen had offered pro-government social media activist Thy Sovantha U.S. $1 million to attack the CNRP.

Sam Rainsy, who was found guilty in absentia, was also ordered to pay a fine of 10 million riel (U.S. $2,500) to the state.

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