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French Court to Hear PM Hun Sen's Case Against Sam Rainsy

PHNOM PENH: The Court of the French Republic will hear the case of Prime Minister Hun Sen and Mr. Dy Vichea against opposition leader, Sam Rainsy, regarding the latter's claim that the Prime Minister was behind the Hok Lundy helicopter crash in 2008.

During the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of two new flyovers in Phnom Penh on Wednesday, 31 August, Prime Minister Hun Sen disclosed that the French court will begin hearings on the suit he has against Sam Rainsy.

On 14 June, four French lawyers representing Prime Minister Hun Sen and Dy Vichea met with the Prime Minister at his private residence in Takhmao City. The French lawyers filed the defamation suit against Sam Rainsy in a Paris court.

Prime Minister Hun Sen and Dy Vichea's lawsuit against Sam Rainsy was filed in France on 20 August 2019, and an investigative judge charged Sam Rainsy with public defamation on 8 June 2020.

The Prime Minister decided to sue Sam Rainsy over a message the latter posted on his Facebook page and what Sam Rainsy said during an interview with Voice of America (VOA). Sam Rainsy accused Prime Minister Hun Sen of being the mastermind behind the assassination of Hok Lundy, and also said he had ordered the killing of Chea Vichea.

The French court is expected to rule that "this case is a violation of the domain of freedom of expression."

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