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

  • Two luxury hotels latest quarantine options for inbound travellers

    The Inter-Ministerial Committee to Combat Covid-19 has designated two luxury hotels as alternative quarantine options for travellers who wish to enter Cambodia through Phnom Penh International Airport – Sokha Phnom Penh Hotel & Residence and the Courtyard by Marriott Phnom Penh. In a notice detailing guidelines issued

  • Visa A holders get to quarantine at Himawari Hotel

    The Ministry of Health has permitted foreign diplomats, UN and International NGO officials to undergo quarantine at Himawari Hotel in the capital in case they do not have a separate place suitable for this purpose, but the government would not be responsible for the expenses.

  • Jabs for kids bring hope for school reopenings

    Cambodia is tentatively planning to reopen schools – at least at the secondary level – when the vaccination of children aged 12-17 is completed, even though daily transmissions and deaths in other age groups remain high. Schools across the country have been suspended since March 20, one month

  • China denies Mekong hacking

    As the US and its allies joined hands last week to expose what they allege to be China’s Ministry of State Security’s malicious cyber activities around the world, the attention also turned to Cambodia with the US Department of Justice claiming that four

  • Governor: Covid subsides in capital

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng said the Covid-19 situation in the capital’s 14 districts has eased, with only two districts still recording a high number of infections. “Transmission cases in all districts are dropping, though they are relatively higher Meanchey and Por Sen Chey.

  • Hun Sen: Get 12-17 age group ready for Covid jabs

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has told parents of children aged 12-17 in Phnom Penh and the provinces of Kandal and Preah Sihanouk to get them ready for vaccinations soon. “There is a need to vaccinate children and youths aged 12 to 17. According to the statistics provided