Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday sentenced in-absentia former opposition leader Sam Rainsy to a total of eight years in prison for demoralising the armed forces and insulting King Norodom Sihamoni.
Mr Rainsy, who is exiled in France, issued statements calling on the armed forces to stay neutral upon his return to the Kingdom and refrain from arresting him. He also called an election letter written by King Sihamoni as “fake or written under duress”.
Judge Ros Piseth said Mr Rainsy insulted the monarchy and incited soldiers to disobey orders.
“The court has decided to sentence defendant Sam Rainsy to four years in prison and be fined 10 million riels [about $2,500],” Judge Piseth said. “I order police to arrest and imprison him.”
He also sentenced Mr Rainsy to four years in prison for insulting King Sihamoni for calling the royal election later fake or written under duress prior to last year’s general election.