The Phnom Penh Municipal Court has set a March 22 trial date for a public defamation case filed by the Tax Department against Cambodia Daily deputy publisher Deborah Krisher-Steele, which was filed by the Tax Department.
The case relates to a letter to Kong Vibol, the director-general of the Tax Department, from Krisher-Steele after a leaked copy of the paper’s $6.3 million tax bill appeared on Fresh News, prompting her to call the release of a confidential document a breach of privacy laws. After the Daily was shuttered in September, the Tax Department filed the case against Krisher-Steele.
On Tuesday, a court notice board listed Krisher-Steele’s trial for March 22. Court administrator Y Rin was unable to confirm the date yesterday. Krisher-Steele said she had not been informed of an upcoming hearing. She added that she would be represented in court by a lawyer.
Krisher-Steele; her father Bernard Krisher, the newspaper’s founder; and the Daily’s general manager, Douglas Steele, are facing a tax evasion case and are banned from leaving the country, though only Steele is currently in Cambodia.