Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Cambodia Daily GM’s lawyer invited for questioning

Cambodia Daily GM’s lawyer invited for questioning

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A man reads The Cambodia Daily in Phnom Penh on its last day of publication after the paper closed in 2017 over a massive tax bill. AFP

Cambodia Daily GM’s lawyer invited for questioning

The lawyer of former Cambodia Daily General Manager Douglas Steele has received an invitation to appear in court on May 9 for questioning in the now-shuttered paper’s tax evasion case.

The former manager of the Daily, which had to close when presented with a $6.3 million tax bill, was accused by the Tax Department in September of tax evasion and obstruction of tax collection, along with Deputy Publisher Deborah Krisher-Steele and the newspaper’s founder Bernard Krisher.

Tax evasion carries a prison sentence of up to five years and a maximum fine of $4,800, while obstruction of the implementation of taxes carries a fine of up to $2,400 and a one-year prison sentence.

Steele’s lawyer, Sek Sophorn, on Monday said he received an “invitation for questioning” by an investigating judge for May 9, but would request a delay sometime this week. “I’m busy on that day,” he said.

Steele, meanwhile, said he would stay in Cambodia, despite the potential prison sentence. “I won’t solve their problem for them by fleeing. I will not run away,” he said. “I’m not looking forward to it, but it’s something I can’t control.”

Krisher-Steele also faces defamation charges for alleging that a confidential tax document was leaked by the department to government-aligned media. Her case was delayed in mid-March due to procedural issues.

The closure of the Daily – which was among a number of independent outlets shuttered by the government – was met with broad international criticism, with observers arguing that the tax bill was a political move to stifle critical voices ahead of this year’s national elections.

MOST VIEWED

  • Purging Sihanoukville’s past with a new masterplan

    Amid illicit activities, haphazard development and abandoned projects, the coastal city of Sihanouk province needs a reset to move forward. A new masterplan might be the answer to shake off its seemingly mucky image to become the Shenzhen of the south Gun toting, shootouts, police

  • Chinese may be first in tourism revival: PM

    Cambodia's tourism industry is gearing up to roll out the red carpet for Chinese travellers after Prime Minister Hun Sen on September 17 indicated that the Kingdom could soon throw open its doors to international holidaymakers vaccinated against Covid-19 – starting with guests from China. Cambodia Chinese

  • Four-pillar approach in reopening of tourism: PM

    Cambodia is drawing up a four-strategy approach to promptly restore domestic and international tourism activity and put the industry on a transition pathway to a sustainable and inclusive model that is resistant to future crises, according to Prime Minister Hun Sen. The prime minister made

  • Airline says ready for green light to reopen international tourism

    Sky Angkor Airline Co Ltd on September 21 said it is ready to transport South Korean and Chinese tourists to the Kingdom once the Cambodian government makes good on plans to reopen its borders to vaccinated travellers. The Siem Reap-based airline made the remark during a

  • Tourism concerns laid bare

    To ensure the success of plans to reopen the tourism market for international visitors, Cambodia must pay utmost attention to two primary determinants – the ongoing paradigm shift in domestic tourism services towards the ‘new normal’, and the factors influencing choices of destinations among foreign holidaymakers.

  • Cambodian bride ‘badly treated, held captive’ by Chinese man seeks help

    A Cambodian woman who travelled to China to marry a Chinese man there was “badly treated” by her husband’s family and then had to be rescued and will be returned to Cambodia to ensure her safety. The rescue operation came about after the 25-year-old