Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Sovantha critic faces jail after summons



Sovantha critic faces jail after summons

Popular Facebook user Sok Sovanvathana Sarapong faces potential arrest after being sued for defamation and "incitement" by CPP card carrying member Thy Sovantha. Facebook
Popular Facebook user Sok Sovanvathana Sarapong faces potential arrest after being sued for defamation and "incitement" by CPP card carrying member Thy Sovantha. Facebook

Sovantha critic faces jail after summons

A Phnom Penh Municipal Court prosecutor has requested the court put a popular social media user in pre-trial detention for ignoring a summons related to a defamation and “incitement” suit filed by fellow social media celebrity Thy Sovantha.

The Facebook user Sok Sovanvathana Sarapong, widely known as William Guang, can be put into pre-trial detention if directed by a Phnom Penh judge. The preliminary charges against him include defamation and incitement to discriminate, with the latter carrying a prison sentence of up to three years.

Documents from the prosecutor’s office show that Sovantha filed the suit on December 4, taking offence to Facebook posts from Sovanvathana Sarapong, which included him calling her an “evil person”, “a student who escaped her exams” and that “she deserved to be hit with a shoe”.

Sovanvathana Sarapong on Tuesday said he had received two summonses, asking for a delay because he was overseas. But he said Prosecutor Soeun Monyrath had ended the investigation, recommending arrest.

“She is a public figure and anybody can constructively criticise her,” he said, referring to an NGO she runs and her high-profile membership in the ruling Cambodian People’s Party. He added that if he were to be arrested it would be based on illegal procedures from the prosecutor.

Sovantha has shown a proclivity for filing defamation cases against political leaders and social media users, especially those from the opposition. While she was aligned with the opposition during the 2013 elections, her relationship soured with the Cambodia National Rescue Party owing to her cosying up to Prime Minister Hun Sen and his party.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen says Kingdom not a 'satellite country'

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said Cambodia had sent diplomatic notes to various embassies demonstrating its stance and clarifying allegations that the Kingdom is a satellite country of China which will allow it exclusive access to the Ream Naval Base in Preah Sihanouk province. The response

  • Vast Prince Manor fun park opens to much fanfare in Kandal

    Chinese-owned Prince Culture and Development Co Ltd officially launched the $85 million Prince Manor entertainment centre in Kandal province on Wednesday. Prince Manor is located along National Road 1, 20km from the centre of Phnom Penh. It is the first major theme park project in Cambodia and

  • Angkor provides ‘valuable’ water storage

    The Apsara National Authority (ANA) has stored millions of cubic metres of water at reservoirs in the Angkor area after Cambodia experienced a series of rainstorms over the last few days. The storing of the water, besides serving temple conservation, will also be used to

  • Floods prompt evacuations in Kampong Speu

    Rain-induced floods and water flowing from Kampong Speu province have submerged the houses of 1,527 families living close to the Prek Thnot River in Spean Thma, Tien, Kong Noy and Roluos communes in Phnom Penh’s Dangkor district, according to data from local authorities. Spean Thma

  • Serving coffee with a side of robots

    The eye-catching glass building surrounded by greenery at the intersection of Streets 371 and 2002 in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district is more than just another coffee shop where you can while away a few hours. UrHobby House cafe is filled with robots and characters from

  • Cintri strike ends, workers’ contracts to be terminated

    CINTRI (Cambodia) Ltd rubbish collectors who have been on strike for the past 13 days agreed to return to work starting Wednesday evening after the company agreed to terminate their contracts at the end of January next year and provide seniority payments and other benefits to