Government Officials Rejected a Joint Statement of Civil Society Organizations on Mu Sochua’s Case – Saturday, 8.8.2009

Posted on 8 August 2009. Filed under: Week 624 |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 624

“After the Phnom Penh Municipal Court issued a verdict on 4 August 2009, announcing that the Sam Rainsy Party deputy secretary-general and parliamentarian from Kampot, Ms. Mu Sochua, lost the defamation case where the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, Samdech Akkak Moha Senapadei Dekchor Hun Sen, had sued her, there was a strong reaction from civil society organizations against this verdict. However, the government totally rejects this joint statement where they had expressed their reaction.

“The spokesperson of the Council of Ministers, Mr. Phay Siphan, told Deum Ampil by phone on Friday, ‘I have no reaction, but I regret that these civil society organizations do not accept for themselves a the state of law, because the Phnom Penh Municipal Court decided already and the civil society’s statement is clearly political.’

“Mr. Phay Siphan added, ‘If Ms. Mu Sochua does not agree with the verdict of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, she has the right to appeal. No country has issued statement against this court verdict.

“The Human Rights Action Committee, which is a league of 21 non-government organizations, and the Committee for Free and Fair Elections, released a joint statement on 5 August 2009, saying that they regret the verdict of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court in the morning of 4 August 2009, ordering Ms. Mu Sochua to pay a fine and to compensate Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen.

“In the statement, they noted, ‘The Phnom Penh Municipal Court did not talk and ask in detail about facts, but just mentioned the complaint of the prime minister as the basis for its hearing, and in reality, the hearing did not pay attention on Ms. Mu Sochua’s case, especially to the reason why Ms. Mu Sochua held a press conference at [the Sam Rainsy Party] headquarters [which was used as the basis for the defamation suit against her].

“Civil society organizations ask the court to be independent, neutral, and non-biased in holding its hearings, and to reform itself soon, so that it does not become a tool of the powerful, and they requested the Cambodian courts to pay more attention to the rights and freedoms, as stated in the Constitution and other human rights treaties.

“It should be remembered that a judge of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court ordered Ms. Mu Sochua on 4 August 2009 to pay Riel 8.5 million [approx. US$2,100] to the state, and to pay a compensation of Riel 8 million [approx. US$2,000] to the Prime Minister for defamation, a court case which had extended over almost 4 months. After the verdict was issued, Ms. Mu Sochua appealed on 5 August 2009.” Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #257, 8.8.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 8 August 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #257, 8.8.2009

  • Confirmed Cases of A/H1N1 Flu in Cambodia Increased to 24
  • Schools in Hanoi Are Closed because of A/H1N1 Infections [so far, there have been 1,000 confirmed cases of A/H1N1 in Vietnam]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2017, 8.8.2009

  • The Appeals Court Summoned Mu Sochua to Appear on 18 August 2009
  • [President of the Cambodian Free Trade Union of Workers] Chea Money Asks to Call [former Phnom Penh police chief, now jailed at the Prey Sar Prison] Heng Pov as Witness related to the Murder of [his older brother] Chea Vichea [when the appeals court meets to deal with the appeals of Boun Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #464, 8.8.2009

  • The Appeals Court Will Hear Boun Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun [who were released on bail] on 17 August 2009 [over the murder of Mr. Chea Vichea]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6723, 8-9.8.2009

  • Water at the Upper Mekong River Recedes a Little Bit; Three People Died, Drowning on the Same Day in Kratie
  • The Russey Keo Authorities Intercepted More Than Six Tonnes of Illegal No-Quality Chicken Meat [Phnom Penh]
  • [President of the USA] Obama Announced US$2.4 Billion Support for the Development of Electric Cars, and Plans to Increase the Tax on the Rich [in America]
  • The Strike [of garment workers] at the Suit Way Factory Ended after There Was Agreement on Three Points [first, the factory owner released the-last-month salaries of the workers; second, the factory will have to suspend its work for two months, during which the factory agreed to offer US$12 to each worker per month; and third, the owner promised to reopen the factory in October]

Have a look at the last editorial – you can access it directly from the main page of the Mirror.

And please recommend us also to your colleagues and friends.

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