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Blackmail threat for CNRP MP

Opposition MP Eng Chhay Eang talks to the media earlier this month at the CNRP headquarters after recordings, allegedly between Kem Sokha and a mistress, were disseminated across social media.
Opposition MP Eng Chhay Eang talks to the media earlier this month at the CNRP headquarters after recordings, allegedly between Kem Sokha and a mistress, were disseminated across social media. Hong Menea

Blackmail threat for CNRP MP

The agitator behind the salacious recordings purported to be of acting opposition president Kem Sokha and a mistress is attempting to blackmail Cambodia National Rescue Party lawmaker Eng Chhay Eang, threatening to expose the senior official’s unspecified wrongdoing should he continue to ignore the allegations against Sokha.

In a letter received by Chhay Eang and posted on Facebook yesterday, the author, who goes by the alias The Truth of CNRP, threatens to make public Chhay Eang’s “personal scandal” if the opposition lawmaker continues to speak to the media and deflect attention away from the allegations against Sokha.

“You must urgently stop speaking in defence of [Kem Sokha] and trying to cover up Kem Sokha’s scandal,” the letter reads.

“If you do not listen . . . your personal scandal will be also be released throughout the country and all over the world via my Facebook and webpage – the same as Kem Sokha’s scandal,” it continues, without detailing what that scandal might be.

Over the past week, about 20 audio recordings of flirtatious exchanges between a man that sounds remarkably like Sokha and multiple women have been leaked by a Facebook user called The Truth of CNRP.

The manner in which they have been released has raised questions over the source of the recordings and whether they were obtained illegally.

The Truth of CNRP – whose Facebook profile picture shows a masked CNRP activist – has declined multiple requests via Facebook for comment.

For the most part, the CNRP has chosen not to respond directly to the allegations, instead telling its supporters that the party has more pressing political issues to address.

But as the scandal began to break last Tuesday, Eng Chhay Eang posted Article 301 of the Cambodian Criminal Code on his Facebook page, which decrees that recording private speech is a punishable offence, except in cases where it has been authorised by law.

Other than reiterating the laws relating to voice recordings, Eang has since largely chosen to steer clear of the discussion.

The opposition lawmaker blew off the latest threat yesterday.

“We do not care about such a problem,” Eang said.

Even if recordings are released “10 times per day or each hour, go ahead”, he taunted.

“I just want to help Khmer society. I want to help find justice for Khmer people, and I want Cambodia to have respect for human rights,” he said.

Contacted yesterday, Sok Eysan, a spokesman for the ruling party, which has long-denied any CPP involvement in the leaks, said that the latest threat was an internal issue for the opposition and declined to comment further.

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