The Appeals Court Upholds the Municipal Court’s Verdict against the Editor-in-Chief of Khmer Machas Srok Who Was Sentenced to Be Imprisoned for One Year and Ordered to Pay Riel 9 Million – Wednesday, 12.8.2009
The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 625
Phnom Penh: In the morning of 11 August 2008, the Appeals Court decided to uphold the verdict of the Municipal Court as remaining valid during the hearing on the appeal by a defense lawyer of the editor-in-chief of Khmer Machas Srok, Mr. Hang Chakra, against the verdict of the Municipal Court which sentenced him to jail him one year in jail and ordered him to pay Riel 9 million [approx. US$2,200]. It should be remembered that a few hours after Mr. Hang Chakra’s hearing at the Municipal Court on 26 June 2009, he was arrested in Battambang and sent immediately to Phnom Penh and then to the Prey Sar Prison.During the hearing, Mr. Hang Chakra appeared at the wooden dock at the Appeals Court, to speak against the one year imprisonment, sentence while he had Mr. Chuong Chou Ngy as his defense lawyer. Considering that the announcement by the Appeals Court to uphold the Municipal Court’s verdict was unacceptable, Mr. Chung Chou Ngy plans to appeal against the decision of the Appeals Court. Mr. Hang Chakra, 55, was prosecuted to serve one year in prison by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, after he had been found accused of defamation and disinformation. Khmer Machas Srok publications in April and May 2008 were related to the Minister in Charge of the Council of Ministers, the Deputy Prime Minister Sok An, and to corruption allegations at the Council of Ministers. During the hearing in June 2009, the prosecutor accused the publication, saying it contributes to political instability, as one article said, ‘Mr. Sok An always wants to become prime minister and replace Mr. Hun Sen.
The defense lawyer, Mr. Chuong Chou Ngy, was quoted before the hearing as saying that he was not sure whether his defendant could avoid the prison sentence. He was overheard while talking on the phone with The Cambodia Daily on 11 August 2009, ‘I am not sure whether I can win this case or not.'” Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6726, 12.8.2009
Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 12 August 2009
Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #260, 12.8.2009
- Ancient Structures at the Preah Vihear Temple Discovered while Digging at a Channel near the Sambok Khmum Point [Preah Vihear]
- Military Police Arrested a Drunken Man Who Pointed a Gun at Other People, but in the Morning Bodyguards [of an unknown high ranking official] Came to Intervene to Release Him [Phnom Penh]
- Earlier the Court Had Claimed Fourteen Containers of Mreah Prov Oil [from a large softwood tree – an important ingredient to produce the ecstasy drug] Were Pure, but Two Months Later, the Court Claimed They Were Not Pure and Mixed with Water [so they can be released – relevant authorities were summoned by the court to check the oil again – Battambang]
- A Pair of Lovers Died from Poison [committing suicide] because Their Parents’ Disapproval [of their love – Kompong Thom]
Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2020, 12.8.2009
- Cambodia Vows to Respect the Rights and Freedoms Guaranteed by Law [according to a report about a meeting between government officials and representatives of the European Union about human rights]
- America Praises the Improvement in the Conduct of Elections in Cambodia
- Samdech Hun Sen Welcomes the Creation of a Cambodian-Japanese Association
- [Former Tuol Sleng Prison chief] Duch Acknowledged the Testimony of a Former Guard that at the S21 Interrogation Center There was Torture by Applying Electricity to the Genitals of Prisoners
- A Burmese Court Sentenced Ms. Aug San Sui Ky [the Burmese elected democracy leader] to 18 Months of House Arrest
Khmer Amatak, Vol.10, #636, 12.8.2009
- The Clinic Soriya Is Being Sued for Intentional Murder of an Infant and for Professional Negligence [the director of the clinic claimed an infant was dead and wrapped the body to give it to the parents, while it was actually alive and was then saved at the Kantha Bopha Hospital]
Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #466, 12.8.2009
- The Appeals Court Maintained the Verdict of the Municipal Court to Continue to Detain Mr. Hang Chakra
Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6726, 12.8.2009
- Communities Suffering from Land Disputes from 19 Provinces Come to Lodge Complaints at Different National Institutions [in Phnom Penh]
- A Third Level Rank Military Police Captain Was Arrested for Drug Smuggling [Phnom Penh]
Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4970, 12.8.2009
- Brunei Will Buy 1,500 Tonnes of Rice from Cambodia
Some text – abbreviated – in addition to the headline, above, in Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2020, 12.8.2009, from the report about a meeting between government officials and representatives of the European Union about human rights, reporting the statement of the Cambodian side:
The spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Ouch Borith, warmly welcomed a delegation of the European Union led by British Ambassador to Cambodia, Mr. Andrew Mace on 7 August 2009, to exchange opinions on human rights in Cambodia. Mr. Ouch Borith stated the following points about human rights in Cambodia.
- Cambodia observes human rights as a general outlook to achieve sustainable development in all sectors. Cambodia encounters many problems, including the task to strengthen multi-party democracy and the rule of law, which need to be implemented step by step.
- Never before was Cambodia so committed to protect and to promote human rights according to the law. The presence of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the National Human Rights Committee, and national and international non-government organizations which work on human rights, are evidence to prove Cambodia’s commitment to promote human rights.
- Democracy in Cambodia depends on the fundamental rights as stated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, while at present, personal rights, the freedom of expression, and the culture of debate are taking root more deeply in Cambodian society. It must be recognize that the implementation of these rights and freedoms must, in any democratic society, be under the framework of the law.
- Laws and regulations about defamation and disinformation exist in general all over the world, especially in modern societies in order to protect and to guarantee the honor of all people. Recent verdicts of Cambodian courts, related to defamation and disinformation, are in accordance with existing laws and the statements therein about those offenses.
The headlines of the most recent statements by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights/Cambodia:
- High Commissioner calls for action on indigenous people’s rights – 9 August 2009
- Recent defamation convictions threaten freedom of expression – 5 August 2009
- OHCHR Cambodia regrets eviction of ‘Group 78’ – 17 July 2009 (including a link to the Basic principles and guidelines on development-based evictions and displacement, from the UN Special Rapporteur on adequate housing)
- Development partners call for halt of evictions of urban poor – 16 July 2009
- Independent expert concerned at threats against lawyers in Cambodia – 01 July 2009 (including a link to the United Nations Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers)
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