Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Media centre head to testify in Sokha mistress 'bribery' case



Media centre head to testify in Sokha mistress 'bribery' case

Pa Nguon Teang, executive director of CCIM, was summoned by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court earlier this month in relation to Kem Sokha’s alleged sex scandal.
Pa Nguon Teang, executive director of CCIM, was summoned by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court earlier this month in relation to Kem Sokha’s alleged sex scandal. Kimberley McCosker

Media centre head to testify in Sokha mistress 'bribery' case

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court has ordered Pa Nguon Teang, a respected media figure, to appear on August 18 as a witness in its investigation into an alleged sex scandal surrounding Kem Sokha, the acting president of the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party.

The court’s August 3 summons requires Nguon Teang, the executive director of the Cambodian Center for Independent Media, to appear for questioning in relation to bribery charges against four jailed Adhoc staffers, a National Election Committee official and a CNRP commune chief.

The six were locked up in early May after being charged with bribing Sokha’s alleged mistress, Khom Chandaraty, also known as Srey Mom, to lie about her affair with the opposition leader.

The cases against Sokha and the six are widely seen as politically motivated.

Nguon Teang’s summons comes nearly two weeks after Adhoc’s Prey Veng coordinator, Eang Kimly, was questioned as a defence witness in the case.

When reached yesterday, Nguon Teang said he would comply with the order.

“They have just invited me as a witness,” he said. “I have no involvement in this case and I have never committed anything illegal.”

However, the head of the Anti-Corruption Unit, Om Yentieng, speaking at a Voice of Democracy roundtable on May 9, claimed Sokha had used Nguon Teang, who heads VOD, as a conduit to set up a meeting with NEC official Ny Chakrya.

Reached yesterday, Yentieng said the case was now out of his purview and refused to elaborate on his earlier comments.

“My task is done and I have closed the investigation already. It is now the task of the court, so you can ask the court,” he said.

Investigating judge Theam Chanpiseth directed press queries to court spokesman Ly Sophanna, who would only confirm that Nguon Teang had been summonsed as a witness.

Political analyst Ou Virak said that while Nguon Teang’s close relationship to Sokha was well known to the authorities, it was likely his involvement with the Black Monday campaign that had resulted in the summons.

“Pa Nguon Teang is part of the campaign and posts photos of himself [supporting the campaign] and the government has noticed that,” he said, adding that the government was not comfortable with civil society’s support for the Black Monday campaign, which yesterday saw a land rights activist arrested.

Also yesterday, the Appeal Court rejected a request by NEC official Ny Chakrya to quash court proceedings against him. Chakrya has been charged as an accomplice in the alleged bribing of Chandaraty, and is being detained at PJ Prison.

Sam Sokong, Chakrya’s lawyer, cited Article 38 of the Constitution – which deals with coerced confessions and a detainee’s rights – in his application to have the lower court’s investigation quashed.

“He was questioned for a long time and did not have enough food to eat, felt frightened, tired and was unable to listen and understand the questions,” Sokong said. “According to the Constitution, the Appeal Court should have accepted our complaint as valid and nullified proceedings.”

However, presiding judge Nguon Ratana ruled that Chakrya’s rights had not been violated despite the defendant being questioned multiple times in a day or beyond administrative hours.

Additional reporting by Ananth Baliga

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