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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Ex-PM in libel row over deal

Ex-PM in libel row over deal

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday heard a defamation case brought by former prime minister Ung Huot against a former business partner, whom he accused of libelling their joint venture after a dispute in 2014.

According to judge Heng Kesaror, Huot, Malaysian defendant Chin Meng You and another Malaysian, You Kimmoon, founded the agribusiness firm MEC Co Ltd, and assigned Chin to drum up investors.

Once Chin had secured some $6 million in investments, Huot allegedly promised him $680,000 commission, but only paid $300,000.

In response, Chin sued Huot for fraud, and was subsequently fired, at which point he sent a message to the investors saying, “Be careful with your investment, because this company cheated me”, Kesaror said.

Huot is demanding $840,000 in compensation for the alleged defamation.

Chin did not attend yesterday’s hearing, but his lawyer, Pheng Men Y, denied his client had defamed MEC.

“My client messaged the foreign investors, but he did not intend to defame the company’s name.

He just told the truth and advised them about their investment,” he said.

A verdict is due on August 28.

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