Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Judge bows out of trial after defence points out ineligibility

Judge bows out of trial after defence points out ineligibility

Judge bows out of trial after defence points out ineligibility

A red-faced judge chose to postpone a defamation trial on Friday afternoon when defence counsel pointed out, and he agreed, he was ineligible to preside over the case.

Judge Svay Tonh had commenced proceedings in the case in which ex-Equitable Cambodia employee Chan Vichet is suing his former boss, executive director Eang Vuthy, along with former and serving HR directors – Chheang Phea and Phen Kimsong, respectively – for defamation.

However, lead defence lawyer Liv Sovanna used his opening remarks to remind Tonh that he had been the case’s investigating judge and was therefore barred from also conducting the trial.

“I raise the point in the public interest and in my client’s interest,” Sovanna said, saying it was up to Tonh whether to proceed, but that the issue would be raised at the Court of Appeal if it came to that.

Tonh quickly conceded Sovanna’s point, before announcing that the trial would be postponed until a later, as yet unspecified date.

Legal expert Sok Sam Oeun yesterday said he had never heard of an instance of a judge working as both investigating and trial judge in his 20 years of practising law.

This article has been updated to correct the spellings of the names of defendants Chheang Phea and Phen Kimsong.

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia unveils new quarantine regulations

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Cambodia sets new Covid-19 quarantine rules

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Hun Sen: Cambodia set to fully reopen

    Prime Minister Hun Sen concludes that the October 5-7 Pchum Ben public holiday, during which many people either flocked to their hometowns for family reunion or gathered at tourist attractions across the country, has not caused an outbreak of Covid-19. In a special address to

  • Will Evergrande change the way Chinese developers do business in Cambodia?

    China’s property sector policy has exposed the grim financial condition of real estate developers including those operating in Cambodia, which raises questions over the viability of their projects and business going forward The dark blue netting draping over one of Yuetai Group Co Ltd’

  • Cambodia resumes issuance of tourist visas

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has announced the resumption of its tourist visa and visa exemption programme after a long hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In a letter dated October 20 and addressed to foreign embassies and consulates, foreign minister Prak Sokhonn

  • Cambodia voted ‘world’s friendliest country’ in Rough Guides reader poll

    Cambodia ranked number one among the “World’s Friendliest Countries”, according to a reader poll conducted by London-based international website “Rough Guides”. Taking submissions through Twitter and Facebook, “Rough Guides”, a well-known travel agency and publisher of guidebooks, said the Kingdom “was by far the