Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Editor in court over accusations

Editor in court over accusations

Editor in court over accusations

PHNOM Penh Municipal Court questioned a newspaper editor Monday in connection with two articles he published accusing a government official of profiting from a scholarship programme named after Prime Minister Hun Sen.

The complaints against Bun Tha, editor of Khmer Amatak newspaper, were filed November 5 by Kao Kim Hourn, a secretary of state at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and president of the University of Cambodia, after the newspaper published articles criticising an unofficial 20,000-riel (US$4.78) fee levied on applicants for a scholarship sponsored by the Japanese government and Hun Sen.

The articles say that although there were just 500 places, as many as 20,000 students – many from poor, rural areas – paid to apply.

After Monday’s hearing, Bun Tha said he was thankful that the charges against him do not carry jail terms, but that it was not a good sign that senior officials used the courts to bring complaints against editors.

“The school shouldn’t have complained to me, which is a bad sign for democracy, since my paper is not aligned to any party,” he said.

Kao Kim Hourn said Thursday that the journalist had been unprofessional, failing to collect information from the university. He said the articles had “impacted the reputation” of the school, but that the money collected from the application fees went towards supporting housing for poor rural applicants and paying teachers’ salaries.

“We didn’t intend to pursue the case to Phnom Penh Municipal Court in September – we wanted to have a reconciliation with the editor,” he said. Only after Bun Tha failed to print a correction was legal action considered, he added.

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