Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Muslim leader ruled guilty of defamation

Muslim leader ruled guilty of defamation

People wander through the grounds of a Phnom Penh mosque in May that is at the centre of a land dispute and defamation case.
People wander through the grounds of a Phnom Penh mosque in May that is at the centre of a land dispute and defamation case. Heng Chivoan

Muslim leader ruled guilty of defamation

Muslim community leader Ahmad Yahya was yesterday found guilty at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court of defaming fellow community leader Othsman Hassan in a case about a road proposed to run past a city-centre mosque.

The court ordered Yahya to pay 100 million riel compensation (about $24,000). Hassan, a secretary of state at the Ministry of Labour, had sought $1 million. Yahya, a secretary of state at the Ministry of Social Affairs, was also ordered to pay a fine of 5 million riel ($1,200) to the state.

Hassan launched the defamation case after claiming that Yahya had told a Muslim radio station and Thmey Thmey, a local media outlet, on April 28 that Hassan had tried to get approval to build the road on land belonging to the mosque at Boeung Kak. The proposed road has created tension among the Muslim community over concerns that it would disrupt prayer sessions.

Yahya said he was “very disappointed” with the court’s decision, adding that he planned to appeal and that he would have legal representation – something he lacked this time around.

“I don’t understand,” he said. “We have enough evidence.”

After the ruling, Yahya took to Facebook to reiterate his claim that Hassan was behind the proposed road.

One of Hassan’s attorneys, Koy Kunthy, said that although the compensation fell short of his client’s expectations, his client was satisfied he had won.

MOST VIEWED

  • Man arrested for fake PM endorsement

    The owner of currency exchange company GCG Asia Co Ltd was temporarily detained by the court yesterday for attempted fraud after Prime Minister Hun Sen reacted to the company using his name and pictures to allege his endorsement of the firm. Phnom Penh Municipal Court

  • Archeologists find ancient phallic statue

    An archeological team has found a metre-long tipless stone linga (penis) of the Hindu deity Shiva in the foundations of a temple in Kratie province’s historical Samphu Borak area, a former capital of the pre-Angkor Empire Chenla period. Thuy Chanthourn, the deputy director of

  • Sihanoukville authority orders structure dismantled

    The Preah Sihanouk provincial administration has ordered owners of two unauthorised construction sites to immediately dismantle them and warned of legal action if the owners failed to comply. Ly Chet Niyom, development management and construction bureau chief at the provincial hall, told The Post on

  • China steel company relocates to Cambodia

    Chinese state-owned iron and steel company China Baowu Steel Group Corp Ltd has unveiled plans to relocate its blast furnaces from Xinjiang Autonomous Region in the northwest of China to Cambodia, which will be the first overseas Baowu production plant, a Reuters report on Wednesday