Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Court officials blast Radio Free Asia over report on convictions

Court officials blast Radio Free Asia over report on convictions

Court officials blast Radio Free Asia over report on convictions

COURT officials in Phnom Penh have taken the unusual step of criticising recent media reports alleging “irregularities” in the convictions of three men accused of armed robberies last week.

A statement issued Monday and signed by Yet Chakrya, the chief prosecutor at Phnom Penh Municipal Court, alleged that Radio Free Asia (RFA) had broadcast “exaggerated information” involving three men convicted of committing a series of armed robberies.

The statement defended the conviction of the men, each of whom was sentenced last week to 30 years in prison. The men were involved in multiple robberies, the statement read – crimes that caused people to lose property and had a negative impact on public security.

The RFA reports, which aired last Wednesday and Monday, relied on interviews with people who lacked sufficient information to criticise the judicial system and police officials, the court suggested in the statement. The reports amounted to a lack of journalistic professionalism, the statement said.

RFA reporter Kim Pov said she met with the Council of Ministers to discuss her reporting.

“I told them that I have no intention of defending robbers or thieves, but I just wanted to broadcast information based on a report I got from a human rights organisation,” Kim Pov said.

The report, she said, suggested there were irregularities in the convictions.

Kim Pov said the court declined to comment when she first asked for access to the case files.

Unfinished investigation
Chan Soveth, a senior investigator with rights group Adhoc, confirmed that it was his organisation that publicised the issue after receiving complaints from the three convicted men.

They “told us that they have been convicted and sentenced unjustly. We haven’t conducted a thorough investigation”, said Chan Soveth, who urged the court to provide evidence of the three men’s alleged crimes.

Sok Sam Oeun, executive director of the Cambodian Defenders Project, said the court overreacted by criticising the RFA journalist’s reporting, and that the prisoners were merely expressing their opinions through the media.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all