Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Continued opposition FB leaks add to tapping fears



Continued opposition FB leaks add to tapping fears

CNRP lawmaker Real Camerin prepares to sign in to a session at the National Assembly in Phnom Penh in 2015.
CNRP lawmaker Real Camerin prepares to sign in to a session at the National Assembly in Phnom Penh in 2015. Hong Menea

Continued opposition FB leaks add to tapping fears

Further adding to suspicions of widespread phone tapping of government rivals, a new batch of covertly recorded conversations said to feature opposition figures talking discreetly with women have emerged online, including one purportedly of CNRP president Sam Rainsy speaking somewhat flirtatiously with a waitress.

The clips, including one said to feature Rainsy and another allegedly of lawmaker Real Camerin, add to a flurry of leaks in recent weeks by an anonymous anti-opposition Facebook account, and were posted yesterday and Sunday evening respectively.

The first lawmaker to directly address such leaks, Camerin yesterday denied he was the voice in the recording released on Sunday, in which the man makes sexually explicit and degrading remarks to a woman on the call.

“It is not my voice . . . I do not know about the conversation. Some may believe it and others not, but I am not that kind of person,” Camerin said.

Rainsy, who fled to France in 2015 to avoid arrest in a case widely considered political, did not respond to a request for comment.

In text posted with a three-minute clip labelled “part one”, the account’s administrator alleges the CNRP president had tried to woo a waitress from a Western restaurant in Phnom Penh. In the conversation, the man rings late at night a waitress he met earlier in the evening, makes small talk and asks to meet the next weekend.

At least seven Cambodia National Rescue Party members have now been alleged to be the voices in audio recordings released by the account. Among them are Long Ry, Ho Vann, Yem Ponhearith, Eng Chhay Eang and Yim Sovann.

CNRP acting president Kem Sokha was the subject of similar leaks in February last year, which suggested he had an affair with a hairdresser and led to a raft of legal cases against the politician, his colleagues and government critics. On Sunday, Sokha took to Facebook in apparent response to the continued leaks.

“I want to remind that we have many tasks to do,” he wrote, adding there was “no time” for conflict as the party prepared for elections.

Yesterday, the Facebook page for the Volunteer Artists for Social Workers Association, led by prominent model Chorn Chan Leakna, demanded an apology “to all Khmer women” for the “inappropriate words” on the recording linked to Camerin.

But government spokesman Phay Siphan said there were no plans for a probe unless one of those involved complained.

“They can use their right to file a complaint to the court,” Siphan said.

However, if the recordings were genuine, there had been a clear breach of privacy that needed to be investigated, said Ngeth Moses, head of the media unit for NGO Central.

“The law on privacy rights needs to be enforced,” he said, before suggesting people discussing sensitive issues should perhaps “not talk on the phone”.

Calling it a clear “dirty tricks” campaign by the ruling party, however, a CNRP lawmaker, who requested anonymity, said there was little chance of investigation but a high chance of more leaks.

“They’ve got nothing else but to play these dirty tricks, but the more they do it, the more people will get p— about it,” he said. “It shows they record everyone’s conversations and use them as they please.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Kingdom's Covid cluster cases jump to 194

    The Ministry of Health on February 25 confirmed 65 new cases of Covid-19, with 58 linked to the February 20 community transmission. The latest cluster cases include nine Vietnamese nationals, five Cambodians, one each from Korea, Singapore and Japan, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total number

  • Locations shut, dozens more Covid-19 positive

    The Ministry of Health has closed 23 locations in connection with the February 20 community transmission of Covid-19 and summoned for testing anyone who had direct contact with affected people and places. The number of discovered related infections has risen to 76, including 39 women. In a press release,

  • Cambodia's Covid cluster cases rise to 137

    The Ministry of Health on February 24 recorded 40 more cases of Covid-19, with 38 linked to the February 20 community transmission. Of the 40, two are imported cases involving Chinese passengers. The 38 include two Vietnamese nationals and one Cambodian, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total cases

  • Covid cluster raises alarm, health bodies urge vigilance

    The Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia have expressed great concern over the February 20 cluster transmission of Covid-19 in the community. Both entities appealed for vigilance and cooperation in curbing further spread of the virus. Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said

  • PM confirms third Covid-19 community transmission

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on February 20 announced the Kingdom's third outbreak of Covid-19 community transmission after 32 people tested positive in just over 10 hours. Addressing the public from his residence after an emergency meeting, Hun Sen said: "I dub it February 20 Community Event, in which 32 cases

  • Cambodia's cluster cases jump to 259

    The Ministry of Health on February 27 recorded 26 more cases of Covid-19 linked to the February 20 community transmission, bringing the total to 259 in one week. The 26 include three Vietnamese nationals and one Cambodian, with the rest being Chinese. The ministry noted that five of the Chinese