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Meeting for jailed journalist

INFORMATION minister Khieu Kanharith met with members of the Press Council of Cambodia yesterday to discuss an intervention request from jailed journalist Ros Sokhet.

Chhum Socheath, director of the cabinet at the Ministry of Information, confirmed yesterday that the meeting went ahead as scheduled, though he was unable to provide details because he did not attend.

Ek Visarakhun, secretary general of the PCC, said he, too, had been unable to attend the meeting, but that PCC President Sok Sovann had been present. Neither Khieu Kanharith or Sok Sovann could be reached for comment yesterday.

In November last year, Phnom Penh Municipal Court sentenced Ros Sokhet to two years in prison after finding him guilty of spreading disinformation through text messages to prominent commentator and news anchor Soy Sopheap.

On September 28, Ros Sokhet wrote to Khieu Kanharith, requesting his intervention.

“I would like you to help me compromise my case with my plaintiff and ask him to withdraw the complaint against me,” the letter says. It goes on to refer to the cases of opposition leader Sam Rainsy and Human Rights Party leader Kem Sokha – defamation suits against the pair were lifted by Prime Minister Hun Sen so they could participate in elections in 2008.

“I would like you to follow through with the bright idea and leadership of Samdech Hun Sen to settle my case and secure my release soon,” the letter says.

Ros Sokhet’s lawyer, Sam Sokong, said yesterday that an Appeal Court hearing in the case had been scheduled for Friday.

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