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Reporters probed on extortion allegations

Reporters probed on extortion allegations

Three of six journalists accused of extorting money from alleged illegal loggers operating in Kampong Chhnang province were called to the provincial court for questioning yesterday.

Chan Thy, from the Deum Ampil newspaper, Chea Khen from the Khmer Democratic News Association and Meas Sokha from Today’s New Information were questioned in court in relation to extortion allegations stemming from November last year.

Wood traders filed a complaint against the reporters in December alleging that the group had extorted hundreds of dollars from them.

Chan Thy responded that he had merely written a story about the luxury wood smuggling in Teuk Phos district in late 2010.

“I didn’t extort money from anyone as accused and if a reporter demanded money from anyone, he would not publish the story,” he said.

According to figures provided by the Press Council of Cambodia, at least 10 journalists were arrested and jailed on charges of defamation, extortion and other related crimes in 2010.

Provincial prosecutor Penh Vibol could not be reached for comment yesterday.

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