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Activist monk But Buntenh speaks at a forum on environmental protection in Phnom Penh last month.
Activist monk But Buntenh speaks at a forum on environmental protection in Phnom Penh last month. Heng Chivoan

Sonando suit against monk proceeds

Outspoken radio host and aspiring politician Mam Sonando called on activist monk But Buntenh to defrock yesterday. The remarks followed Sonando’s appearance at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court where he answered questions related to his defamation lawsuit against the monk.

Sonando, founder of the Beehive Social Democratic Party, launched the case in response to video comments allegedly posted on Buntenh’s Facebook page in April last year. “The defamation is real.

He created a scenario that was not true, saying that I negotiated and bargained for a position with Kem Sokha and Sam Rainsy to become a lawmaker . . . for myself and for my wife,” he said. “What he said was not true. He should leave the monkhood.”

Sonando told reporters he brought the case to show that the monk had “no morality”.

However, Buntenh, who is currently in the US, said yesterday that the case was ‘‘meaningless’’ to him. Court spokesman Ly Sophanna said prosecutor Srey Makni would continue investigating the case.

Sonando’s lawyer, Sok Sam Oeun, said he had audio evidence, adding that his client was seeking damages of $2.50 from Buntenh.

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