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Appeal set over Angkor incitement

Former president of the Khmer Civilisation Foundation Moeung Sonn will have a last attempt to appeal his controversial incitement conviction next week, with hearings for the case slated to be heard at the Supreme Court on Wednesday.

Moenug Sonn, who has been living for three years in self-imposed exile to avoid jail, was convicted of disseminating disinformation by the Phnom Penh municipal court in 2009 for criticising a lighting project proposed at Angkor Wat.

He was sentenced by the court to serve two years in prison and fined 15 million riels (US$3,615). 

He claimed that workers installing lighting at the 12th-century World Heritage site had drilled holes deep into the structure’s walls, a claim that was refuted by the government and the Apsara Authority.

In May 2011, the Court of Appeal upheld his conviction, but changed the charge from disinformation to incitement.

His attorney and executive director for the Cambodia Defenders Project Sok Sam Oeun said they would be making their final push next week to prove his client’s innocence.

“We will explain to the court that my client’s comment to the media was not incitement,” he said.

Speaking from Thailand, Moeung Sonn said he would like his charges dropped so he can return.

“The Supreme Court has the final judgment in my case. If I still lose and am found guilty, it will be absolutely unjust,” he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tep Nimol at tep.nimol@phnompenhpost.com

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