Opposition Senator Thak Lany was convicted of defamation and incitement on Thursday and sentenced to 18 months in jail for accusing Prime Minister Hun Sen of ordering the July 10 assassination of prominent political analyst Kem Ley.
Mr. Hun Sen, who denies the allegation, sued Ms. Lany in August over a video that appears to show her accusing him of ordering the hit during a speech to opposition supporters in Ratanakkiri province.
Ms. Lany, a senator for the legacy Sam Rainsy Party, has denied making the allegations and claims the video was doctored. She has not been seen or heard from since the charges were laid and was tried and convicted in absentia.
Her husband, Chhun Bun San, said yesterday that his wife was in Sweden seeking political asylum.
Along with the prison sentence, the Phnom Penh Municipal Court issued a warrant for Ms. Lany’s arrest and ordered her to pay a fine of 8 million riel, about $2,000, and a symbolic 100 riel in compensation to the prime minister.
Her lawyer, Sam Sokong, said he would challenge the verdict.
“The court has not yet provided justice to by client,” he said. “We will prepare the document to appeal.”
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