The Phnom Penh Municipal Court has dismissed without any explanation a lawsuit filed by the Cambodian Center for Independent Media (CCIM) after one of its reporters was viciously attacked by Daun Penh district security guards in May.
Lay Samean, a 27-year-old reporter for CCIM’s Voice of Democracy, was one of several people beaten by guards as they waited for an opposition rally near Freedom Park on May 2.
Samean suffered serious head injuries and was flown to Bangkok for treatment.
According to a letter signed by court deputy prosecutor Meas Chan Piseth on November 26 but only received by CCIM yesterday, the case has been dropped.
CCIM had accused Phnom Penh Governor Pa Socheatvong, former Daun Penh district governor Sok Sambath and Sok Penh Vuth, Daun Penh deputy district governor, of instigating aggravated violence.
It had asked for $30,000 in compensation and medical costs. Sek Sophorn, CCIM’s lawyer, questioned the procedure.
“We have enough proof – witnesses, photos – and what is important is that my client really was beaten by security guards,” he said, adding that the suit had been filed against senior officials because they bore responsibility.
Prosecutor Piseth said he was too busy to comment. Sambath, the former district governor, and City Hall spokesman Long Dimanche, could not be reached.
Samean said he was disappointed the case had been dropped seemingly without any investigation.