Cambodia slams U.S. embassy for misleading statement over detention of former opposition leader

Source: Xinhua| 2019-02-16 21:23:50|Editor: xuxin
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PHNOM PENH, Feb. 16 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia on Saturday slammed the Embassy of the United States to Cambodia for a misleading comment concerning the legal case of former Cambodian opposition leader Kem Sokha.

"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation expresses grave concern over such a conduct and categorizes the move as undiplomatic and disrespectful for the sovereignty of Cambodia," said a statement from the ministry.

"The Kingdom of Cambodia always respects the sovereignty of other nations and has not commented on any disgraceful scandal of any senior officials and politicians of any country," it said.

"The step taken by the U.S. Embassy in this biased direction runs counter to the ongoing efforts of the two nations in improving the bilateral relationship for shared interest of the two countries and peoples."

The ministry reaffirmed Cambodia's commitment to upholding the rule of law and the maintenance of peace, stability and public order, which the Cambodian people are currently enjoying, the statement added.

The reaction came a day after the U.S. Embassy in Cambodia posted a comment on its official Facebook page, saying that Kem Sokha has been held unjustly for nearly 18 months with false pretenses.

Kem Sokha, president of the now-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), was arrested in September 2017 and charged with treason for conspiring with a foreign power in an attempt to overthrow the government.

If convicted, the former opposition leader could face up to 30 years in prison.

More than two months after his arrest, the CNRP was dissolved by the Supreme Court and 118 senior party members were banned from joining politics for five years. Kem Sokha is currently on bail at his home in capital Phnom Penh awaiting trial.