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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Defamation claim dismissed

Defamation claim dismissed

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Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday dropped two complaints against prominent media personality Soy Sopheap, who was accused by Nokorwat newspaper general director Touch Kongkea of defaming him and breaching his privacy by accessing his personal emails.

Pha Lina/Phnom Penh Post
Media personality Soy Sopheap (centre) shakes hands with a police officer in May last year.

Kor Vandy, municipal court vice president and judge, said the complaints were dropped because no real evidence was brought before the court.

“There is no proof to express that Soy Sopheap stole secret correspondent letters via the emails of Touch Kongkea as accused,” Kor Vandy said.

In April last year, Touch Kongkea accused Soy Sopheap, a high-profile TV pundit and operator of popular news website Deum Ampil Media Centre, of accessing private emails between himself and Lim Bunheng, president and CEO of rice milling company Loran Import-Export Co Ltd.

The Post has previously reported that Soy Sopheap sent a letter, obtained by the Post, to Prime Minister Hun Sen claiming that the emails between Touch Kongkea and Lim Bunheng referenced a plan to transfer control of an FM radio station operated by Soy Sopheap to a Royal Cambodian Armed Forces official.

Soy Sopheap said yesterday that the “sky is clear and justice has prevailed”.

“I accept Phnom Penh Municipal Court’s decision with my highest respects. I think that the court’s decision was justice for me, and it was made with perfection and common sense,” he said.

“It has clearly shown the public that I am a pure and trusted person,” Soy Sopheap added.

“I have never done any bad things which affected the honour and the good relations between the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia and myself.”

Touch Kongkea could not be reached for comment yesterday.

However, his lawyer Chan Vicheth said that he had not yet received the court’s decision, and was therefore unable to comment further.

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