Hun Sen, Sam Rainsy exchange barbs, accusations and counter-accusations 01-Oct-2010


Hun Sen (L) vs. Sam Rainsy (R)

Friday, 1 October 2010

By Khmerization
Source: RFA

Prime Minister Hun Sen and opposition leader Sam Rainsy have traded insults, accusing and counter-accusing each other of begging for forgiveness.

The latest exchanges of the war of words between the two leaders followed Mr. Sam Rainsy's lodgement of latest criminal lawsuit against Prime Minister Hun sen in the U.S court.

In 2005, Mr. Sam Rainsy had lodged a criminal lawsuit against Mr. Hun Sen in the same U.S Court, accusing him of masterminding the 1997 grenade attacks which killed 19 and wounded 190 peaceful protesters. There are claims that Prime Minister Hun Sen had begged Mr. Sam Rainsy to withdraw that lawsuit in exchange for allowing Mr. Rainsy to return to Cambodia safely.

However, speaking during a graduation ceremony on Wednesday, Mr. Hun Sen said it was Mr. Sam Rainsy who had written a letter to beg him for a royal pardon which he had agreed. "Who begged whom? In 2005, (Rainsy) wrote a letter of apology clearly, asking me to request for a royal pardon from the king. He has acknowledged that he had falsely accused me for a lot of things, like launching the grenade attacks in front of the National Assembly aimed at assassinating up to 6 prominent people such as His Excellency Sam Rainsy himself, Prince (Norodom) Sirivudh and even used the (derogatory) term 'ah'....etc. He had used such word as well. Sorry, if a dog bites my leg, I will not bite his leg back but I will use my leg to kick him. Please wait and see, boy!", declared Hun Sen.

However, Mr. Sam Rainsy claimed the opposite had happened. During a video conference from his exile in France on 24th September, Mr. Rainsy said the New York Court had served Mr. Hun Sen with the summons at his hotel when he visited New York in 2005. Mr. Rainsy claimed that Mr. Hun sen was so scared of the summons that he asked him to withdraw his lawsuit in exchange for allowing him to return to Cambodia safely. "In 2005, the (U.S) court had served Mr. Hun Sen with the summons and he was so scared! He was staying in his hotel and the court officials appeared at his hotel to hand him the summons to appear before the court. He was scared, he was very shocked. And when he had returned front New York, he begged me, Sam Rainsy, to withdraw my lawsuit in the U.S and he will agree to withdraw his lawsuit against me in Cambodia" said Mr. Rainsy.

Mr. Yim Sovan, spokesman for the Sam Rainsy Party, said the case against the perpetrators of the grenade attacks in 1997 cannot be closed, even if Mr. Sam Rainsy had once withdrawn his criminal lawsuit. "Criminal offences have no statute of limitation. Criminal offences cannot be traded like exchanging the apologies between people. The importance is to find justice for the victims. We want the perpetrators brought to justice", he said.

On 30th March 1997, four grenades were thrown into a crowd of peaceful demonstrators, killing 19 and wounded 190 people, including Mr. Sam Rainsy and Mr. Ron Abney,a U.S citizen. The U.S FBI launched a criminal investigation and found that Prime Minister Hun Sen's Bodyguard Unit posted nearby was behind the attacks.