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

  • Angkor Wat named as the top landmark for the second year

    Travel website TripAdvisor has named Cambodia’s ancient wonder Angkor Wat as the top landmark in the world for the second year running in their Travelers’ Choice Award 2018, an achievement Cambodian tourism operators expect will attract more tourists to the Kingdom. The website uses traveller

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty

  • Hun Sen detractors ‘will die’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday said those who curse or insult him would eventually die without a plot of land to bury their bodies after being killed by lightning, suffering the same fate as those who recently died in Thmar Baing district in Koh

  • NOCC to contest petanque, tennis axe

    The National Olympic Committee of Cambodia will lobby hard over the next few weeks for the inclusion of the Kingdom’s most productive medal-earning sport, petanque, along with vovinam and tennis after the disciplines were left out of the initial list of 30 preferred sports for