Cambodian opposition leader flees country fearing lawsuits

[JURIST] Cambodian opposition leader Sam Rainsy [party profile] has reportedly left the country after the country's parliament stripped him of immunity, exposing him to liability for defamation. Cambodia's National Assembly [official website] Thursday achieved the two-thirds majority needed to overturn rules protecting Rainsy and two other members of the Sam Rainsy Party [party website]. As a result of the decision, the three men could face charges stemming from allegations by Rainsy that the president of the National Assembly, Prince Norodom Ranariddh [BBC profile], took bribes when forming a government. Rainsey also faces a suit filed by Prime Minister Hun Sen [BBC profile] and his ruling Cambodian People's Party [party website] for accusing the government of plotting to kill political rivals. Read the Sam Rainsy party press release condemning the parliamentary action. The US embassy in Cambodia condemned the parliament's decision as a "major setback for democracy". BBC News has more.

 

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