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Facebook case dropped: cops

In a strange end to a strange case, police based in Phnom Penh’s Chamkarmon district decided yesterday to drop defamation charges against a teacher after he agreed to take down fining documents that he had posted to his Facebook page in response to the seizure of his motorbike in a routine traffic stop.

Phel Phirom, a teacher in Phnom Penh, told the Post he met with officers in the district station for two hours yesterday, and they were able to reach an agreement that kept him out of court.

“We all discussed and talked to one another in a respectful manner, and the discussion went on in a normal atmosphere without any threats, leading to an outcome acceptable by both sides. So we decided to stop complaining”, he said.

Ouch Sokhon, Chamkarmon district police chief, said he decided after listening to Phirom that “we understood each other; we will not continue with the complaint, and we agreed to end this story”, he said.

On the night of January 24, police stopped Phirom and took his bike, saying he didn’t have the proper licence plate.

They confiscated the bike and fined Phirom, who later posted the ticket to Facebook, sparking a barrage of comments critical of the police.

The district cops caught wind of the post and filed a complaint of defamation to the court.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kim Yuthana at yuthana.kim@phnompenhpost.com

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