Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - 'Mon Srey' denies Sokha affair

'Mon Srey' denies Sokha affair

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Khem Chandaraty, aka Mon Srey, speaks to reporters last night at the Phnom Penh headquarters of rights group Adhoc. Niem Chheng Niem Chheng

'Mon Srey' denies Sokha affair

The woman identified as Kem Sokha’s purported mistress in a series of recorded phone calls spoke publicly for the first time yesterday, denying that she was the voice heard in the recordings or that she had had an affair with the CNRP deputy president.

Khem Chandaraty sought help from rights group Adhoc yesterday evening after being summonsed twice by police over a defamation complaint arising from tapes released last week, in which she is identified as “Mon Srey”.

“I know nothing about it,” said Chandaraty, denying the voice was hers.

“They said that I am his mistress; I am not his mistress. [They say] that I have love affairs with him, I don’t… I completely deny it. I know he’s older than my parents, so I have never thought of doing this with him.”

Chandaraty, a hairdresser, said her long-term Facebook account, under the name “Mon Srey”, which used to host some of the clips, had been hacked. She claimed that on February 29, she was unable to access her page, which she claimed to have used for two years.

However, an inspection of the page last week suggested it had only been live for three days. It has since been deactivated.

Chandaraty said she had spoken to Sokha only once, about three weeks ago, when he called wanting a haircut.

“He asked ‘is the barber free for a haircut now?’ Then I replied, ‘yes [he’s] free, you can come’,” Chandaraty said of the phone call.“This was my call with him. I had no time to talk with him a lot . . . I was busy working.”

She told the Post later that she had not attempted to reach either Sokha or Cambodia National Rescue Party representatives since the scandal broke.

Sokha himself has not responded directly to the adultery accusations or tapes, while party president Sam Rainsy, currently abroad while facing charges at home, said it was a “dirty tricks campaign” by the Cambodian People’s Party.

The case has raised questions about whether Sokha’s phones had been tapped. The CPP have denied involvement. The case, however, has moved into the hands of authorities.

Chandaraty has been sought by the Interior Ministry’s anti-terrorism and overseas crime department to discuss a defamation suit filed by social media celebrity Thy Sovanntha in response to disparaging remarks about her made by the man alleged to be Sokha in one of the recordings.

A summons issued by the department’s director, Y Sok Khy, seen by the Post, requests Chandaraty to appear at the ministry on March 11, after missing a previous summons hearing on March 7.

Sok Khy was unreachable last night.

Though receiving no threats, Chandaraty said she temporarily fled her home, anxious about her safety. She said, however, that she recalled people following her a week before the recordings were released.

Her reputation and family honour tarnished, Chandaraty said she contacted Adhoc to seek justice. “This scandal is made up,” she said. Yesterday, Nay Vanda, senior monitor at Adhoc, said the organisation would provide her a lawyer.

“We won’t let her go alone to the ministry without legal representation,” Vanda said, adding that Chandaraty was “living in fear”. “The lawyer needs to study the case first so we may ask the ministry to delay the summons again.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Omicron patients can stay home: PM

    The Ministry of Health has issued a directive on the treatment of people who have tested positive for the highly transmissible Omicron coronavirus variant, following a suggestion from Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of January 21. The directive permits home quarantine for those who

  • The effects of the USD interest rate hike on Cambodian economy

    Experts weigh in on the effect of a potential interest rate expansion by the US Federal Reserve on a highly dollarised Cambodia Anticipation of the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike in March is putting developing economies on edge, a recent blog post by

  • Cambodia’s first ever anime festival kicks off Jan 22 at capital’s F3 centre

    Phnom Penh's first ever Anime Festival will bring together fans, artists, shops and other local businesses with ties to the Japanese animation style for cosplay competitions, online games, pop-up shops and more on January 22, with Friends Futures Factory (F3) hosting. F3 is a project that

  • Demining rat ‘hero’ Magawa dead at 8

    A landmine-hunting rat that was awarded a gold medal for heroism for clearing ordnance from the Cambodian countryside has died, his charity said on January 11. Magawa, a giant African pouched rat originally from Tanzania, helped clear mines from about 225,000sqm of land – the equivalent of 42

  • Hun Sen gets 4th Covid shot, urges compatriots to follow

    Prime Minister Hun Sen and his wife Bun Rany on January 14 received their fourth dose of Covid-19 vaccine and called on compatriots to follow suit as the Omicron coronavirus variant continues to spread in the community. This marks the launch of Cambodia's fourth-dose vaccination campaign,

  • Fourth dose Covid booster drive jabs 43K in two days

    In the first two days of the fourth-dose Covid-19 vaccination campaign, more than 43,000 people volunteered to get the jabs, while over 4.6 million people have received a third shot. Health ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said that fourth-dose vaccinations, which began on January 14 exclusively with the Pfizer