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PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — Cambodia’s Prince Norodom Ranariddh, former prime minister and the son of the late King Norodom Sihanouk, died Sunday in France, Information Minister Khieu Kanharith announced on his Facebook page. He was 77.

Khieu Kanharith, who said he learned of the death from Um Daravuth, a minor member of Cambodia’s royal family, did not give the cause of death.

Ranariddh had been in ill-health since an auto accident in Cambodia in 2018. An aide to Ranariddh, who spoke on condition of anonymity because who was not authorized to speak to the media, said he went to Paris in late 2019 for medical treatment of a broken pelvis.

Ranariddh’s career was always in the shade of his charismatic father, Sihanouk, and his clever and ruthless political rival, Hun Sen, with whom he shared power before being pushed aside. Hun Sen remains prime minister.

Ranariddh traded on his position as the son of Sihanouk, but lacked his father’s strong personality and political adroitness. Ranariddh’s half brother, Norodom Sihamoni, became king in 2004 after the abdication of Sihanouk, who died in 2012. Sihamoni’s Facebook page confirmed Ranariddh’s death.

Ranariddh, a French-educated law scholar, entered public life in 1983, when he took over leadership of Funcinpec, an armed resistance movement against the Vietnamese-installed government led by Hun Sen that succeeded the brutal 1975-79 communist Khmer Rouge regime.

Ranariddh converted Funcinpec into a royalist party that won U.N.-sponsored elections in 1993. The elections were part of a peace process following the fall of the Khmer Rouge and three decades of civil war.

Hun Sen’s post-election threats to unleash the security forces he still controlled resulted in him being named second prime minister under Ranariddh.

After Hun Sen staged a coup against his partner in 1997 with a lightning military takeover, Funcinpec fell strongly under Hun Sen’s influence. Ranariddh attempted several comebacks, and in 2006 founded the Norodom Ranariddh Party, but was destined to remain a marginal political player.

Ranariddh’s last position was as chief advisor to his half brother, King Sihamoni. He was also leader of what was left of the Funcinpec party, which announced late Sunday that his body would soon be sent back to Cambodia.

Ranaridd’s second wife, Ouk Phalla, a classical dancer more than three decades younger than him with whom he had two children, died in the 2018 car accident.

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Prince Andrew Demands Trial by Jury in U.S. Sex Abuse Case

Prince Andrew’s lawyers on Wednesday demanded a trial by jury in the U.S. District Courts as he prepares to answer sexual assault allegations brought by Virginia Giuffre.

Andrew’s trial by jury plea comes just two weeks after Judge Lewis A Kaplan of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York denied his request to have the entire case dismissed.

Alongside the jury request, Andrew has also sought to have the case dismissed – again.

The Prince’s lawyers have justified their decision to request a jury trial and repeated calls for dismissal by suggesting Giuffre’s allegations lack solid “facts” and are “too speculative” to warrant any financial compensation from Andrew, UPI reports.

Queen Strips Prince Andrew of All Military Titles and Patronages https://t.co/JJh6HcfkeH

— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) January 13, 2022

The Prince’s lawyers also suggested that Giuffre’s “prayer” for “exemplary” or “excessive” “punitive damages” is “unconstitutional” as this is “barred” by the “due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment”.

In the submitted court documents the Queen’s son once again denied “that he ever engaged in sexual acts with Giuffre” and declined to answer most of her other allegations.

A portrait of Prince Andrew outside The Duke of York pub on January 16, 2022 in London, England. On Thursday, Buckingham Palace announced Prince Andrew would shed his military titles and patronages after a U.S. court allowed a lawsuit by Virginia Giuffre, who alleges Andrew raped her when she was 17, to proceed. (Hollie Adams/Getty Images)

These include topics such as his relationship with paedophile billionaire Jefferey Epstein – claiming the Prince “lacks sufficient information to admit or deny the allegations”.

Previously Andrew has suggested Giuffre is suffering from “false memories” in regards to her claim of him sexually assaulting her when she was 17 in 2001. Andrew has also accused Giuffre of highlighting her claimed trauma in order “to deflect” from the role the Prince accuses her of having in “Epstein’s sex-trafficking scheme”.

A previously sealed 2009 $500,000 lawsuit settlement between Jeffrey Epstein and a woman that is suing Prince Andrew was made public. https://t.co/4QRmCFzZMJ

— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) January 3, 2022

The disgraced Prince has also challenged the motivations behind Giuffre’s allegations against him and suggested she is simply seeking another “payday”, using the $500,000 Giuffre obtained in a 2009 settlement with Epstein as evidence of this.

Currently, Andrew has not been charged with any criminal offences and if the case is not dismissed will face Giuffre in the U.S. civil courts.

He has always maintained his innocence of all charges.

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