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A judgment in the ongoing lawsuit by three Cambodian celebrities against men who faked pornographic images of the stars in 2005 and distributed them by mobile phone will be handed down in the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on July 17, according to the judge hearing the case.

Phnom Penh Municipal Court judge Din Sivuthy told the Post by phone that he would issue his decision at that time, following the June 27 hearing in the case brought by Cambodian stars Soeur Sotheara, Chorn Chan Leakhena, and Chin Seriya.

The judge said that the identities of the two men accused in the lawsuit have not been released and refused to give any further information about the case or his decision.

A lawyer who has been following the case but who declined to be named predicted that the defendants in the case would prevail as the defamation action against them has already been dismissed.

With penal liability no longer in issue, the court was expected only to judge whether to award damages for mental injury to the plaintiffs.  

Actress and singer Sotheara said her point was not to win monetary damages but to show that the photos were defamatory and not true to her.

“I just want the court to legally punish the perpetrators. I am not demanding damages for any mental injury to myself,” she said.

Film star Yuthara Chhany, who is actress Chan Leakhena’s husband, said his wife’s complaint has been awaiting judgment since late 2005. Mental damages to his wife and family were not important, he said. The main point was to warn anyone who does this will face consequences, Chhany said.

Lawyer Kong Sopheak, who helped Chan Leakhena and her husband prepare the case for court but who said he was not her attorney, was unsure whether monetary damages would be awarded.

The Post was unable to contact singer Seriya for comment and was told by a family member that she was currently in France.

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