The Cambodian Daily wrote about the Mu Sochua case in Friday’s paper reporting that by some people’s account it enhanced her stature, especially among women. One person was reported as saying that about 50% agree with her while the other half does not. Be that as it may – I don’t believe for one moment that this ‘drama’ was on the forefront of people’s thoughts – one thing is for certain.
By impounding her salary the court avoided a greater political international scandal. Domestically, the whole case was just old hat. Internationally, of course, it caught a few headlines, although by and large it wasn’t something that aroused great interest in the Western press.
If the court had had her arrested that would certainly have produced outrage among the Western international community with possibly some consequences. The government would really have had a hard time explaining this. So far, it was just a lawsuit, a personal matter as a spokesman said. But prison for insulting the Prime Minister? It would also have made a martyr out of Mu Sochua, a person who is probably liked best within Cambodia among the opposition politicians. That was not something the government really wanted. So they found this way out. A little beyond what is generally accepted as good democratic practice, but, hey, this is still a 'fledgling democracy'. The good thing is that it is over; Mu Sochua said as much. Turn to the real issues now.