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

  • Kingdom’s domestic milk still cannot compete with imports

    Price competition and a lack of confidence by consumers are the main reasons the dairy market cannot compete with imports, said domestic milk producers. The large displays of imported fresh milk at the Kingdom’s supermarkets present a cumbersome obstacle for local producers, they said.

  • ‘Pesticide-laden cucumbers’ kill two, poison 150 in Banteay Meanchey

    At least two youths have died and 243 others are being treated for vomiting, diarrhoea, breathing difficulties, dizziness and muscle weakness after they ate cucumbers suspected to consist of pesticides. The incident happened on Saturday, said Banteay Meanchey provincial police chief Ath Khem. He told The

  • Three dead, 13 injured in collapse at Siem Reap pagoda

    At least three people were killed and more than 10 others injured on Monday after a dining hall under construction collapsed at Prasat Kokchak pagoda in Kokchak commune, Siem Reap province. Provincial police chief Tith Narong said Military Police, soldiers and local volunteers had successfully recovered 16

  • Forest Harmony’s $18M luxury villas break ground in Kampot

    Local and French joint-venture Forest Harmony has broken ground on its $18 million “second-home” Luxury Holiday Villas project in Kampot province. Century 21 Mekong CEO and local shareholder of the project Chrek Soknim told The Post that the project will comprise 90 villa units covering 18ha on a 97

  • China Unicom enters Cambodia

    China Unicom, the country’s largest telecoms operator, has expanded into Cambodia to build optical telecommunication pathways in the Kingdom as part of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The Hong Kong-listed company officially opened its China Unicom (Cambodia) subsidiary on Monday to become the

  • PP-SHV Expressway on track for completion in early 2023

    The construction of the $1.9 billion Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville Expressway, which broke ground at the end of March, is on track to be completed by early 2023, Ministry of Public Works and Transport spokesman Vasim Sorya said on Monday. The 190km high-speed highway linking the capital to the