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Son Soubert drops lawsuit

Former Constitutional Council member Son Soubert says he will drop a lawsuit against Bayon TV’s Soy Sopheap after the popular news anchor apologised for allegedly defamatory comments made about Son Soubert’s father, the late resistance leader Son Sann.

Son Soubert announced plans to sue Soy Sopheap in February after Soy Sopheap allegedly said Son Sann had sold land near Preah Vihear temple to Thailand in cooperation with coalition partner and former Khmer Rouge head of state Khieu Samphan.

Son Sann formerly led the right-wing Khmer People’s National Liberation Front, founded in 1978.

In June 1982, he entered into a coalition – the Coalition Government of Democratic Kampuchea – with the royalist Funcinpec and remnants of the Khmer Rouge, an association that still prompts controversy.

Soy Sopheap said he had made a correction and offered an apology to Son Soubert for his previous statements during a Bayon broadcast last Wednesday. Soy Sopheap was questioned in Phnom Penh Municipal Court last week in relation to Son Soubert’s defamation allegations.

“I am happy that His Excellency Son Soubert has accepted my apologies and has decided to withdraw his complaint against me,” Soy Sopheap said.

“I think that from now on, we can be friends as a journalist and a politician working to promote democracy and development in our country.”

Son Soubert said yesterday that Soy Sopheap had “complied with what we requested him to do, so we have no more grudge”.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY JAMES O’TOOLE

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