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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - SRP attorney found guilty of bar breach

SRP attorney found guilty of bar breach

Lawyer for Mu Sochua has until July to defend self over defamation claim.

THE lawyer of opposition lawmaker Mu Sochua has been found in violation of Bar Association rules after he declared in April that the prime minister had defamed his client, a bar official told the Post Thursday.

Kong Sam Onn has represented Mu Sochua in two defamation lawsuits - one filed by Mu Sochua, and a countersuit filed by Prime Minister Hun Sen - stemming from an April 4 speech by the premier in which the opposition leader said Hun Sen  made derogatory comments about her.

Hun Sen's lawyer, Ky Tech, alleged last week that Kong Sam Onn violated Cambodian Bar Association rules by asserting during a press conference held April 23 - three days before Mu Sochua's suit was filed - that Hun Sen had defamed her.

"The [bar disciplinary] council has decided that attorney Kong Sam Onn violated Articles 4, 6 and 15 of the bar rules," said Suon Visal, secretary general and spokesman for the association.

According to Suon Visal, the 19 council members ruled on Kong Sam Onn's case based on reports from an inspection team and asked Kong Sam Onn to plead his case himself or request a lawyer to do so.

According to bar rules, Kong Sam Onn has 15 days to plead his case to the council, after which it will decide on his punishment.

Suon Visal said Kong Sam Onn could be temporarily suspended from his job or expelled from the bar.

But he said he could also be let off with a warning.

"We don't know yet whether Kong Sam Onn will be sanctioned or not, but we'll see in the near future," he said.  

Kong Sam Onn could not be reached for comment on Thursday.



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