>Cambodian court seeks to suspend parliamentary immunity of SRP chief

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Sam Rainsy leading textile workers in a rally for better conditions and payrise.

PHNOM PENH, June 18 (Xinhua) — The Phnom Penh Municipal Court has asked President of the Cambodian National Assembly Heng Samrin to temporarily suspend the parliamentary immunity of opposition Sam Rainsy Party (SRP) President Sam Rainsy, local media reported Wednesday.

The court has made the request so that Sam Rainsy can be investigated over the defamation lawsuit that has been filed against him by Foreign Minister Hor Namhong, the Mekong Times newspaper said.

Nguon Nhel, first deputy president of the National Assembly, said Tuesday night that the Permanent Commission of the National Assembly has the right to summon members to decide on the status of a parliamentarian’s immunity.

He said that the decision requires a majority ruling.

“If there is no suspension, no one can arrest parliamentarians as they have immunity except in the case of very serious crimes,” he was quoted as saying.

Sam Rainsy, a lawmaker for Kompong Cham province, said the court’s request was a ploy by the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) to intimidate the SRP.

“They want to threaten the SRP once again. This has occurred on many occasions. It is like the arrest of Dam Sith, editor-in-chiefof Moneaksekar Khmer,” Sam Rainsy said.

Nonetheless, Information Minister and government spokesman Khieu Kanharith suggested that the judicial issue should not be refused with government affairs, saying the legal complaint lodged by Hor Namhong against Sam Rainsy “is a court matter.”

Editor: Du Guodong
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