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October 28, 2009

Cambodian Opposition Leader to Seek Royal Pardon

Cambodian opposition leader Sam Rainsy says he will seek a royal pardon to overturn his conviction for defamation.

He made the comment Monday in France where he fled after Cambodian lawmakers voted in February to strip him of parliamentary immunity.

Last week, he was sentenced in absentia to 18 months in jail for defaming Prime Minister Hun Sen and National Assembly President Prince Norodom Ranariddh.

Sam Rainsy said Monday the court was not independent and was being used by political leaders against the opposition.

A Cambodian government spokesman denied the court was being used by the government to dismantle the opposition. The spokesman told the French news agency, AFP, that politicians should know to be careful when making public accusations.

Some information for this report provided by AP and AFP.