Disbarred lawyer David Chanaiwa was convicted at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday along with a friend and a nephew for the beating of five journalists in Phnom Penh’s Daun Penh district in March.
Phnom Penh Municipal Judge Chaing Sinath, sentenced Chanaiwa, 41, to three years in prison, with a fine of six million riel ($1,500), while Yean Sina, 44, a former secretary of state at the Ministry of Justice, and law student Prak Ou Fie, 20, were each sentenced to two years in prison and fined four million riel (about $975). Sina is at large and was sentenced in absentia.
“Based on the hearing, although all plaintiffs have withdrawn their complaints against the three accused people, and the witnesses have testified that they did not see Chanaiwa, Sina or Ou Fie beating the five victims, according to victims’ testimonies and the evidence, the three accused are found guilty,” Sinath said.
Chanaiwa decried the ruling.
“I will appeal [the case] to the appeal court soon,” he said after his verdict was announced.