Human rights activist Ny Chakrya has received a subpoena to give evidence at Phnom Penh Municipal Court in the latest development in a defamation case against him that has been heavily criticised by international observers.
Chakrya, who heads the human rights section of NGO Adhoc, was accused of defamation over comments he made during two press conferences in May in Siem Riep, during which he denounced the detention of two villagers involved in a land dispute as illegal.
That led two Siem Reap Provincial Court officials – investigating judge Ky Rithy and deputy prosecutor Sok Keo Bandith – to file a complaint against Chakrya, accusing him of public defamation, acts of slanderous defamation and putting pressure on the court’s jurisdiction.
Chakrya must now appear at Phnom Penh Municipal Court on October 21 after initial investigations by the court found sufficient evidence supporting the allegations. “In the event he does not come and give testimony as required, we will issue a warrant to bring him to the court,” investigating judge Veng Hot said yesterday.
Chakrya reacted with dismay to the subpoena, highlighting the fact the same case has already been thrown out by the court in Siem Riep over a lack of evidence to support the accusations.
“What I said in the press conference was the truth, the investigative judge and deputy prosecutor arrested and detained two villagers with no evidence,” he said yesterday.