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

  • ‘Dire consequences’ from sanctions, warns AmCham

    American businesspeople in Cambodia have warned that any sanction against the Kingdom would have “dire consequences” that could push Cambodia even further into the arms of China. In a letter to US senators and representatives dated Monday, the American Chamber of Commerce Cambodia (AmCham) said

  • Protests planned in New York as Hun Sen to attend the UN

    Prime Minister Hun Sen will speak at the United Nations General Assembly in New York this week. But US-based supporters of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) plan to throw eggs at his car as part of a series of protests to coincide

  • CPP: ‘Behave or Sokha suffers’

    The ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) spokesman warned Kem Monovithya on Thursday that her attempt to damage “national reputation and prestige” would lead to her father, Kem Sokha, receiving even harsher punishment. Sok Eysan issued the warning as Monovithya, who is the court dissolved

  • Preah Sihanouk beach developments halted

    After receiving an order from Hun Sen, Minister of Land Management Chea Sophara led a team of experts and relevant officials to Sihanoukville to call a halt to the illegal development of a beach. The prime minister ordered the Prek Treng beach in Otres commune