Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Court hears Thak Lany appeal defamation conviction

Court hears Thak Lany appeal defamation conviction

Former Sam Rainsy party senator Thak Lany, who has been granted asylum in Sweden, was charged of defamation and incitement by Phnom Penh Municipal court. Facebook
Former Sam Rainsy party senator Thak Lany, who has been granted asylum in Sweden, was charged of defamation and incitement by Phnom Penh Municipal court. Facebook

Court hears Thak Lany appeal defamation conviction

The Appeal Court yesterday heard the case of self-exiled former opposition Senator Thak Lany – convicted of defaming Prime Minister Hun Sen for suggesting he was behind the killing of popular commentator Kem Ley – despite the absence of both the defendant and her lawyer.

Lany, granted asylum in Sweden, was sentenced to 18 months in prison by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court in November for defamation and “incitement to cause chaos”, charges brought by Hun Sen. The offending remarks were made in a video – later uploaded to Facebook – of a speech to party supporters in Ratanakkiri.

The hearing proceeded without the presence of Lany’s lawyer, Sam Sokong, who had earlier requested a postponement. Presiding Judge Plong Samnang left the decision on whether to proceed to the prosecutor, Sor Yos Thavrak.

Sam Sokong, lawyer for Thak Lany, seen speaking to the press after a hearing last year.
Sam Sokong, lawyer for Thak Lany, seen speaking to the press after a hearing last year. Hong Menea

“I think that the lower court verdict has already sentenced the accused to one year and six months, so it’s right. I would also ask the court to uphold the sentence,” he said, asking for the hearing to proceed.

Hun Sen’s lawyer, Ky Tech, said Lany’s comments were made in a public forum and with the “real intention” to defame his client, adding that the lower court’s conviction should not be shot down.

Reached after the hearing, Sokong said the court had to inform his client three months before the hearing because she lived abroad but that she had not even received a notice for the trial. “The decision of the Appeal Court to proceed with the hearing is a decision that does not follow legal procedures and my client does not accept it,” Sokong said.

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Life goes on’ if Cambodia loses Everything But Arms

    Cambodia's business sector is exploring ways to mitigate any fallout from a possible loss of access to the EU’s Everything But Arms (EBA) agreement as talks continue before the 28-member bloc makes a final decision. The EU monitoring process is set to conclude in

  • Nesat beach: A magnet drawing tourists to the Kingdom’s coastline

    A white sandy beach lined by countless coconut trees awaits travellers off Cambodia’s southwest coast in Koh Kong province’s Srae Ambel district, about 170km from Phnom Penh. Over the past few years Nesat beach – a name inspired by a nearby fishing village – has

  • PM: Workers must train for Industry 4.0

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has urged the Kingdom’s workforce to seek more technical training and strengthen their skills if they are to avoid job losses resulting from the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Hun Sen said the fourth industrial revolution is like a double-edged sword that

  • Huawei applies for OS trademark in Cambodia

    China's Huawei Technologies Co has applied to trademark the “Hongmeng” operating system (OS) in a number of countries including Cambodia in a bid to launch its homegrown operating system as a replacement for the Android OS, Reuters has reported. Huawei has applied to trademark the “