Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Editor and Khmer Nation exec has jail term upheld

Editor and Khmer Nation exec has jail term upheld

Editor and Khmer Nation exec has jail term upheld

T HE Appeal Court has upheld a one year jail sentence and a five million riel ($2,000) fine against Hen Vipheak, a former journalist-turned-politician, for disinformation.

Appeal Court judge Ouk Savuth upheld Vipheak's earlier conviction for disinformation but overturned a second conviction for defamation of the Prime Ministers. He made no change to the original sentence.

The judge, though discarding the defamation conviction, ruled that Vipheak was guilty of publishing "fabricated and false information with intention to harm the honor of the Prime Ministers."

Vipheak is the former editor of Sereipheap Thmei (New Liberty News) - whose offices were recently attacked by Kraingyov villagers - and who resigned to become a steering committee member of Sam Rainsy's Khmer Nation Party. He had appealed against his convictions under the UNTAC criminal law by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court in May, in relation to an article headlined: "Cambodia: Country of Thieves."

At the Dec 22 appeal hearing, Judge Savuth dismissed Vipheak's request for a pardon if he promised to write an apology to the Prime Ministers.

During the hearing, Vipheak acted emotionally and, as one observer put it, was "childish".

He argued with Prosecutor Kong Srim but did not provide any evidence to support the article's contents.

He avoided editorial responsibility for the article, which was bylined Toyota, by saying he had only conveyed the opinion of its unidentified writer. When pressed by Kong Srim to prove the article's allegations that both prime ministers were selling off state property, Vipheak challenged the prosecutor: "Let's bid your life and my life on this, everyone knows about this [sale of state property]".

Asked by the prosecutor to behave properly, he responded: "This is my right". He calmed down only after he received a warning from the judge.

After Judge Savuth gave his ruling, Vipheak said the verdict had been "not independent" and he would further appeal his case to the Supreme Court.

Vipheak's original sentence in May raised concern from the King and journalism and human rights NGOs.

MOST VIEWED

  • Two luxury hotels latest quarantine options for inbound travellers

    The Inter-Ministerial Committee to Combat Covid-19 has designated two luxury hotels as alternative quarantine options for travellers who wish to enter Cambodia through Phnom Penh International Airport – Sokha Phnom Penh Hotel & Residence and the Courtyard by Marriott Phnom Penh. In a notice detailing guidelines issued

  • Visa A holders get to quarantine at Himawari Hotel

    The Ministry of Health has permitted foreign diplomats, UN and International NGO officials to undergo quarantine at Himawari Hotel in the capital in case they do not have a separate place suitable for this purpose, but the government would not be responsible for the expenses.

  • Baby saved as mother is lost to Covid

    Newborn baby Neth David has had a rough start in the world. His mother, Vong Daneth, was seven months pregnant when she contracted a severe case of Covid-19. When it became clear to her doctors that she would not survive, they performed a cesarean section

  • Jabs for kids bring hope for school reopenings

    Cambodia is tentatively planning to reopen schools – at least at the secondary level – when the vaccination of children aged 12-17 is completed, even though daily transmissions and deaths in other age groups remain high. Schools across the country have been suspended since March 20, one month

  • Governor: Covid subsides in capital

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng said the Covid-19 situation in the capital’s 14 districts has eased, with only two districts still recording a high number of infections. “Transmission cases in all districts are dropping, though they are relatively higher Meanchey and Por Sen Chey.

  • Hun Sen: Get 12-17 age group ready for Covid jabs

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has told parents of children aged 12-17 in Phnom Penh and the provinces of Kandal and Preah Sihanouk to get them ready for vaccinations soon. “There is a need to vaccinate children and youths aged 12 to 17. According to the statistics provided