Archive for August 5th, 2009

Ms. Mu Sochua Rejected to Pay Money to Mr. Hun Sen and Will Not Apologize – Wednesday, 5.8.2009

Posted on 5 August 2009. Filed under: Week 624 |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 624

“The Phnom Penh Municipal Court announced a verdict on 4 August 2009, ordering Ms. Mu Sochua to pay Riel 8 million in compensation to Mr. Hun Sen, and Riel 8.5 million in fees to to the government, corresponding to Riel 16.5 million in total [approx. US$4,100]. But Ms. Mu Sochua said that she will neither pay the compensation according to the verdict of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, nor apologize to Prime Minister Hun Sen.

“The president of the Sam Rainsy Party, Mr. Sam Rainsy, announced recently that the Sam Rainsy Party had prepared money to pay to Mr. Hun Sen to end this case, but he then changed his position and agreed to leave the decision to Ms. Mu Sochua, because the Sam Rainsy Party is a democratic party and does not use pressure.

“Speaking to journalists in the presence of many diplomats and national and international observers after hearing the verdict, Ms. Mu Sochua said that in spite of the Khmer judicial system which has never been just, her struggle will contribute to change it.

“She said, ‘As for the court verdict of today, the judge did not use consciousness and the law to hear me. It is a decision showing plainly that it is a decision following orders of politicians, and it makes us, innocent people like me, to become victims…’ She added, ‘This is absolutely political, and I regret it that the judge ruled that I am the loser and I must pay to the state Riel 8.5 million and to Prime Minister Hun Sen Riel 8 million. I do not receive justice, because the judicial system in Cambodia is not independent and neutral, and it suffers from strong interference by the power of politicians; I have to say that the whole policy of this hearing was not just.’

“She went on to say that the verdict was not based on the hearing, but on a politician’s order. Thus, the sentence which made her lose is not acceptable.

“During yesterday’s verdict, court officials disclosed that if she wants to be free, she has to apologize to Prime Minister Hun Sen. In response, Ms. Mu Sochua stated in a press conference at the [Sam Rainsy Party] headquarters yesterday that she will not apologize or negotiate for power, and she called for an end to this policy of apologies requested by political leaders. She said there can be justice only if the government leaders are changed.

“The president of the Sam Rainsy, Mr. Sam Rainsy, said that he supports Ms. Mu Sochua’s decision. Mr. Sam Rainsy added that the Sam Rainsy Party is a democratic party; therefore, no members and no leaders are pressed.

“On the day when the verdict was announced, the Sam Rainsy Party and the Human Rights Party released a statement calling ‘For Justice and Democracy.’

“The statement says that parliamentarians of the Sam Rainsy Party and of the Human Rights Party totally reject the Phnom Penh Municipal Court’s verdict of 4 August 2009, making Ms. Mu Sochua a victim.

“The parliamentarian Ms. Mu Sochua should not have been made to face such an incompetent, dependent, and biased court, while Ms. Mu Sochua’s court case against the Prime Minister for defamation, with evidence, had been rejected by this court, and Ms. Mu Sochua was made the victim; her immunity had been withdrawn by the National Assembly, and she was not given the right to be defended.

“Ms. Mu Sochua was heard by this court without a defense lawyer, because her first lawyer had been sued by the government and then resigned from defending her case, and her second lawyer was rejected. The Phnom Penh Municipal Court did not use the facts from the videos of Ms. Mu Sochua’s press conference as the basis for the complaint against Prime Minister Hun Sen, as those videos do not show any evidence that she intended to defame the prime minister. As a parliamentarian elected by the citizens, the parliamentarian Mu Sochua has the full right to demand justice when threatened and defamation is used to restrict the right of a parliamentarian and also of a woman.

“The use of the judicial system by the government as a tool to muzzle opposition parliamentarians is a significant blow to our right and role, as stated in the Constitution and in international law, allowing us to play our role and do our activities without fear of political threats and intimidations.

“Critics must condemn the absence of judicial reform in Cambodia, and the use of the court system for intimidation by the Royal Government, and there must be immediate measures taken so that judges and lawyers can fulfill their roles independently and the policy of judges and lawyers must also be independent.

“Threats and intimidations, or the withdrawing of parliamentary immunity with no other reason besides political interests totally ruins democracy, which includes the public freedom of expression and the understanding that there can be opposing ideas.

“We, parliamentarians, notice and respect the presence of the German and American ambassadors, of high ranking officials from the British and Danish Embassy, and of many local and international human rights organizations during the court hearing of Ms. Mu Sochua’s case on 24 July 2009.

“Finally, the statement stressed that the Sam Rainsy Party and the Human Rights Party parliamentarians call on the international community to keep on observing the situation and preventing the use of defamation and the court system against opposition politicians, and to encourage the Royal Government to achieve results from judicial reform, and to vow to implement all policies which exist in democracy.

“It should be noted that yesterday morning, also Human Rights Party parliamentarians went to listen to the verdict, and then released the statement immediately together with Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarians, as an alliance against this unjust verdict.” Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #461, 5.8.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #254, 5.8.2009

  • Two Cambodian Soldiers Died and One Survived and Was Sent Back to the Front Line, after They Ate Mushrooms and Were Poisoned [Preah Vihear]
  • Trees of 2,000 Hectares Forest in Srae Noy Region Are Being Cut by a Forestry Chief’s Father-in-Law [name not given – Oddar Meanchey and Siem Reap]
  • World Bank and World Food Program Provide US$13 Million for Small-Scale Agriculture and Social Protection Programs
  • The Authorities Cracked Down on Seven Places Raising Fresh Pike Fish in Ponhea Leu District [Kandal]
  • [The former US president] Mr. Bill Clinton Goes to North Korea to Negotiate the Release of Two American Journalists

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2014, 5.8.2009

  • [Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation] Hor Namhong: Cambodia Will Sign an Agreement for the Exchange of Cambodian and Thai Prisoners
  • [Minister of Social Affairs, Labor, Vocational Training, and Youth Rehabilitation] Mr. Ith Sam Heng Calls on Children to Stay Away from Drugs [he made this general appeal during the inauguration of a new social center for children]

Khmer Amatak, Vol.10, #633, 5.8.2009

  • Officials Are Troubled by a Complaint from the Russian Embassy Related to the Construction of a 52 Story Building [there is concern that the IFC Building, an investment by a company from South Korea together with local high ranking officials, might pose security risks: terrorists might use it for attacks, as it is close to the embassy – Phnom Penh]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #461, 5.8.2009

  • Ms. Mu Sochua Rejected to Pay Money to Mr. Hun Sen and Will Not Apologize

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6720, 5.8.2009

  • The Stung Treng Authorities Issue a Flood Alert after Receiving Information from Laos that Some Flood Gates Had Been Opened because of Heavy Rain
  • The Verdict Requires Ms. Mu Sochua to Pay Riel 16.5 Million
  • There Are More Than 100,000 Disabled People in Cambodia, 44% of Them Are Women
  • An Agreement between the Mekong River Commission and the Mississippi River Commission of America Is Made [both sides will cooperate to promote the sustainability of hydro-electric programs, to solve water issues and food security, to control and deal with flood and drought, to collaborate in water way travel and trade through the rivers]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4964, 5.8.2009

  • Ms. Mu Sochua Is Fined Riel 8.5 Million for Defamation and Has to Pay Riel 8 Million to the Plaintiff
  • A Woman, Weak after Childbirth, Was Hit to Death by Her Drunk Husband [he was arrested – Prey Veng]
  • Three People Died Immediately after Crashing a Motorbike into a Parked Car on a Road; One Person Was a Khmer-Norwegian [Banteay Meanchey]

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.17, #17, 5.8.2009

  • After Four Hours of Battle for Justice [between Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarians and their bodyguards, and government forces, during a march by Sam Rainsy Party members after hearing the court verdict on Ms. Mu Sochua], Four Opposition Party Bodyguards Were Hit and Arrested [Phnom Penh]

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