Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Official interrogated in mosque road case

Official interrogated in mosque road case

Muslim community leader Ahmad Yahya speaks to the media after leaving Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday.
Muslim community leader Ahmad Yahya speaks to the media after leaving Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday. Hong Menea

Official interrogated in mosque road case

During a closed-door session at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday, Muslim community leader Ahmad Yahya denied defaming fellow community leader Othsman Hassan.

Outside of the court, Hassan said he filed the suit because Yahya had told local media and a Muslim radio station that Hassan requested approval to build a road through land belonging to the mosque at Boeung Kak. The road has become a source of tension in the Muslim community, with some believing it will disturb the faithful during prayers.

Hassan, a secretary of state at the Ministry of Labour, maintained the plan was initiated by Phnom Penh City Governor Pa Socheatvong.

But Yahya, himself a secretary of state at the Ministry of Social Affairs, said that it was Hassan who drew the first design for the road and that he also had plans to build condominiums in the area.

“I really didn’t defame him,” Yahya said, adding that the lawsuit was a waste of time. Socheatvong didn’t return a request for comment yesterday, but City Hall administrative director Meas Chanyada confirmed Socheatvong was behind the road, which was part of the 2035 city master plan.

“It’s not Hassan who initiated the project,” Chanyada said.

Hassan did acknowledge, however, that he would like to see the area developed with high rise buildings to benefit the Muslim community.

“We should not let the land go unused,” he said. “We are planning on how to use the land properly.”

Hassan said that he would leave it up to the court to decide on the case.

MOST VIEWED

  • Chinese tourists 2.0 – Coming anytime soon?

    Regional tourism is grappling with the absence of the prolific travellers and big spenders – the Chinese tourists. Cambodia, which has welcomed over two million Chinese tourists before Covid-19, is reeling from the economic loss despite being the first to fully open last November ‘To put

  • Hun Sen: Stop Russia sanctions

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said sanctions against Russia as a result of its military offensive in Ukraine should be stopped as they have produced no tangible results, and predicted that a global food crisis would ensue in 2023 as a consequence. Speaking to an audience at

  • PM reflects on shoe throwing: Free speech or act of violence?

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 17 questioned whether a man who threw a shoe at him while he was in the US was exercising freedom of expression or if it was an act of hostility. Hun Sen was referring to an incident last week when

  • Prime Minister Hun Sen warmly welcomed by president Biden

    Prime Minister Hun Sen, as ASEAN chair, and other ASEAN leaders were warmly welcomed by US president Joe Biden as the ASEAN-US summit May 12-13 kicked off today in Washington. “This evening, I welcomed ASEAN leaders to the White House for the first time in

  • Prime Minister Hun Sen invites US president to attend summit in Cambodia

    Prime Minister Hun Sen personally invited US President Joe Biden to attend the ASEAN-US Summit which is set to be held in Cambodia in November, as ASEAN and the US are expected to upgrade their strategic partnership to a ‘comprehensive strategic partnership’, according to Prime

  • Pub Street on the cards for Battambang

    The Battambang Provincial Authority has announced that it is considering establishing a Pub Street in the area around the heritage buildings in Battambang town in a bid to attract more tourists. Battambang provincial governor Sok Lou told The Post that the establishment of a Pub