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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Factory boss tried for crumpling moon picture

Factory boss tried for crumpling moon picture

The Kandal Provincial Court yesterday tried and convicted a Chinese factory supervisor for damaging a photograph of the moon in which the likeness of the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk is believed to have been seen.

Judge Lim Sokuntha said the court had sentenced Leav Kuyseang, 50, to three months in prison and fined her two million riel.

The sentence was immediately suspended, and she was released following her trial.

On Tuesday, after Kuyseang, a supervisor at the New Archid Garment Factory in Ang Snoul, destroyed the photo, she immediately offered an apology to the late king.  

“We charged her with intentionally causing damage in accordance with articles 410, 93 and 94 of the penal code.

She will not be deported to China, because it is not a big crime,” Sokuntha said, adding that it was only a photo of the moon.

Kuyseang admitted in court yesterday that she had taken the photo from the workers and crumpled it up in her hand, but said she was unaware of its reverential value.

“I did not tear it. I just crumpled it up in my hand, and I did not know it is the face of the king, because it is just the moon,” she said.

Kuyseang said she loved and respected the late king father and would not have damaged the image had she known the workers believed they could see Sihanouk’s image in it.

The owner of the photo, Chhorn Sothea, told the court her Chinese supervisor had taken the photo from her when she saw workers looking at it before starting work.

“I want the court to reduce her sentence, because she did not tear the photo,” she said.

On Wednesday, Wang Zia Chao, a Chinese manager at the Top World garment factory, was deported after being found guilty of intentionally destroying two images of the late king father.

Wang was given a suspended one-year prison sentence, fined 2.5 million riel and blacklisted from returning to Cambodia.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mom Kunthear at kunthear.mom@phnompenhpost.com

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