Asia

Cambodian PM hits opposition chief with new defamation suit

  • Meach Sovannara, a convicted senior official of the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), sits in a waiting room at the Supreme Court, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017. Cambodia's Supreme Court on Wednesday held its hearing on convicted members of CNRP who were sentenced from 7 to 20 years in prison for leading a violent protest in 2014. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

    Meach Sovannara, a convicted senior official of the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), sits in a waiting room at the Supreme Court, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017. Cambodia's Supreme Court on Wednesday held its hearing on convicted members of CNRP who were sentenced from 7 to 20 years in prison for leading a violent protest in 2014. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)  (The Associated Press)

  • Convicted members of the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) arrive at Supreme Court, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017. Cambodia's Supreme Court on Wednesday held its hearing on convicted members of CNRP who were sentenced from 7 to 20 years in prison for leading a violent protest in 2014. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

    Convicted members of the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) arrive at Supreme Court, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017. Cambodia's Supreme Court on Wednesday held its hearing on convicted members of CNRP who were sentenced from 7 to 20 years in prison for leading a violent protest in 2014. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)  (The Associated Press)

  • Meach Sovannara a convicted senior official of the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) is escorted by prison guards during his arrival at Supreme Court in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017. Cambodia's Supreme Court on Wednesday held its hearing on convicted members of CNRP who were sentenced from 7 to 20 years in prison for leading a violent protest in 2014. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

    Meach Sovannara a convicted senior official of the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) is escorted by prison guards during his arrival at Supreme Court in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017. Cambodia's Supreme Court on Wednesday held its hearing on convicted members of CNRP who were sentenced from 7 to 20 years in prison for leading a violent protest in 2014. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)  (The Associated Press)

Cambodia's exiled opposition leader is facing two new defamation lawsuits stemming from a Facebook post that accused Prime Minister Hun Sen of offering a young political operative $1 million to attack the opposition.

In a lawsuit filed Wednesday, Hun Sen said opposition leader Sam Rainsy's post was false and demanded $1 million in compensation. The political operative named in the social media post, Thy Sovantha, also denied the accusation and filed a separate defamation case seeking $250,000.

The lawsuits are the latest legal problems for Sam Rainsy, head of the Cambodia National Rescue Party. The cases against him are generally considered part of the prime minister's strategy to weaken his opponents ahead of local elections in June and a general election in 2018.