Cambodian senator loses immunity against prosecution

Paves way for opposition MP Thak Lany to be tried for claiming PM Hun Sen was behind assassination of government critic

Cambodian senator loses immunity against prosecution

World Bulletin / News Desk

A Cambodian senator had her immunity stripped Thursday, paving the way for her to be tried for claiming the prime minister was behind the recent assassination of a government critic.

Thak Lany, a senator with the opposition Sam Rainsy Party (SRP), was sued last month for being quoted as saying that Prime Minister Hun Sen “was agitated and then shot at Kem Ley, who was a political analyst who spoke up about Global Witness, Hun Sen’s corruption, his family’s corruption and the millions of dollars they saved.”

Ley’s murder as he bought a coffee at a petrol station came shortly after the release of a Global Witness report that accused Hun Sen and his family of massive corruption -- claims they have denied.

The Senate is stacked with members loyal to the ruling Cambodian People’s Party.

Justice Ministry spokesman Kim Santepheap could not be reached for comment, but posted on Facebook that the vote was held in “compliance with the Constitution” and held in accordance with the criminal procedure code.

Political analyst Ou Virak told Anadolu Agency on Thursday that although the decision to strip Lany of her immunity came as “no surprise”, what is interesting “is that they didn’t strip [fellow SRP senator] Hong Sok Hour of his immunity… because he was caught red-handed.”

Sok Hour has been in prison since August, when he was arrested for sharing a video on Facebook that contained a clip of a fake border treaty between Cambodia and Vietnam.

The SRP was the eponymous party of Sam Rainsy, who went on to establish the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party with former Human Rights Party chief Kem Sokha.

Today, Rainsy is in self-imposed exile to avoid a mounting number of cases brought against him, including one linked to the video Sok Hour shared, while Sokha is holed up at party headquarters to avoid being questioned over accusations that he procured a prostitute.

Lany is believed to be abroad and could not be reached.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 01 Eylül 2016, 16:54