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Freed journalist to file appeal

A JOURNALIST who was recently released from prison after serving a year on disinformation charges says he will file an appeal today to the Supreme Court to have his conviction quashed and to demand US$120,000 in damages from the government.

Ros Sokhet, who was sentenced to two years in prison after allegedly sending threatening text messages to news anchor Soy Sopheap, was released last month after serving a year in prison. Despite his
release, which followed the intervention of Information Minister Khieu Kanharith, Ros Sokhet said he wanted his “whole case” re-investigated.

“If the court increases my jail term, I’ll accept it, but only if the court makes it clear for me,” he said yesterday.

Ros Sokhet said Khieu Kanharith wrote to Justice Minister Ang Vong Vattana on Friday, thanking him for helping secure the journalist’s release.

He added, however, that this was merely a way for the information minister to close the case without addressing the charges he wanted dropped.

But Sam Brochea, a cabinet chief at the Ministry of Justice, said government officials had been working on Ros Sokhet’s release since September, before the journalist said he wrote to officials requesting his release.

Ros Sokhet said he was confident he would be awarded the $120,000 he was seeking in compensation, and that he planned to donate $50,000 to the Sam Rainsy and Human Rights parties for their 2013 national election campaigns.

He also intends to start an anticorruption newspaper that will target Prime Minister Hun Sen and provide a platform for the opposition parties.



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