Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Defendant says he'll skip incitement trial



Defendant says he'll skip incitement trial

Defendant says he'll skip incitement trial

KCF president says he will not attend hearing related to comments about Angkor Wat lights.

THE head of the Khmer Civilisation Foundation said Sunday that he would not appear in Phnom Penh Municipal Court on July 14, the day he has been asked to answer to false information and incitement charges stemming from comments he made about a light installation project at Angkor Wat temple.

In a telephone interview Sunday, Moeung Sonn, who fled to France shortly after charges were filed against him last month, said the court should have conducted a more thorough investigation before scheduling the next week's hearing. He also said he was concerned that the court would not permit him to testify even if he appeared.

"The trial against me on criminal charges seems unjust," Moeung Sonn said, "and the court must allow me to testify and give evidence to prove that I am innocent."

Sam Sokong, a lawyer for the Cambodian Defenders Project, said he took over the case last Thursday, six days after Phnom Penh Municipal Court Prosecutor Sok Roeun issued the official summons detailing the charges against Moeung Sonn.

The charges stem from a radio interview in which Moeung Sonn said that heat generated from lights that had been installed in Angkor Wat temple would seriously damage the landmark tourist attraction.

He also reportedly accused the government of drilling holes into the temple walls as part of the installation project, though on Sunday he denied having ever said this to a radio reporter. Both the government and the Apsara Authority, the body charged with managing the temple complex, have flatly denied drilling holes as part of the light installation project.

Lawyer to make appearance
Moeung Sonn's attorney, Sam Sokong, said he would appear before the court on July 14, adding that he would ask for the court to conduct a thorough investigation into the charges against his client.

Deputy Prime Minister Sok An told parliamentarians in June that Moeung Sonn had lied in interviews to confuse the public.

Government lawyer Pal Chan Dara said Monday that the government would not drop the charges against Moeung Sonn.

MOST VIEWED

  • Would you like fries with that? US burger chain makes Phnom Penh debut

    California-based The Habit Burger Grill restaurant chain is all set to serve up a delicious array of charbroiled burgers and sides at its newest international location in the centre of Phnom Penh. The Habit is “renowned for its award-winning Charburgers grilled over an open flame,

  • Banteay Meanchey flood victims receive aid

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday provided aid to more than 10,000 families affected by flooding in Banteay Meanchey province’s Mongkol Borei district and offered his condolences to the 18 victims who drowned in the province over the past week. He said flooding had occured in

  • Angkor provides ‘valuable’ water storage

    The Apsara National Authority (ANA) has stored millions of cubic metres of water at reservoirs in the Angkor area after Cambodia experienced a series of rainstorms over the last few days. The storing of the water, besides serving temple conservation, will also be used to

  • PM urges caution as Polish man tests positive for Covid

    The Ministry of Health on Wednesday reported that a 47-year-old Polish man tested positive for Covid-19 after arriving in Cambodia on Monday. There are a total of six Covid-19 patients currently in the country, all of whom are being treated at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital

  • Banteay Meanchey floods kill one more as death toll reaches 15

    As floodwaters start to recede in Pursat, Battambang and Pailin provinces and Phnom Penh, Banteay Meanchey continues to bear the brunt as one more person was killed on Monday, bringing the total number of flood-related deaths to 15 in the province this month. Banteay Meanchey provincial

  • Serving coffee with a side of robots

    The eye-catching glass building surrounded by greenery at the intersection of Streets 371 and 2002 in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district is more than just another coffee shop where you can while away a few hours. UrHobby House cafe is filled with robots and characters from