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TV journalist appeals jail term for extortion

TV journalist appeals jail term for extortion

A TV9 journalist, jailed for two years for demanding money from Kampot’s provincial governor to have a story about sand dredging taken off the air, yesterday appealed for a more lenient sentence.

According to a report read in the Appeal Court, the accused, Thong Hokly, who was not at the hearing, had been told about the dredging in Andong Khmer commune by a local villager, Nam Yuong, in 2010 and posted a short clip on Facebook.

The court heard that Kampot Governor Sot Yea paid Hokly and the source $50 to take the clip down. The accused then demanded $1,000 to stop a news piece about the issue being broadcast but settled for $400.

Following the deal, Yea contacted the Anti-Corruption Unit, which then arrested Hokly, who was sentenced to five years with three years suspended. The villager, Yuong, was sentenced to seven years.

Yesterday Hokly’s lawyer requested his client’s sentence be reduced. He maintained that the reporter had not demanded money and cooperated with the ACU. A verdict is due on June 30.

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