Nationalist Party President Sao Rany (C) speaks to reporters in June 2012 in Phnom Penh. Photograph: Pha Lina/Phnom Penh Post
A journalist from local newspaper Rasmey Kampuchea is suing Sao Rany, president of the moribund Nationalist Party, for failing to repay $17,532 she lent him.
Tith Chan Reaksmey claims that after repeatedly harassing Rany for payment since he borrowed the money in 2010, the party president handed her a cheque for $10,000 in June, which subsequently bounced when cashed in September at Canadia Bank.
“Now I have lost patience with Sao Rany. To get my money back, I will file a lawsuit against him to Phnom Penh Municipal Court this week,” she said adding the charge would be breach of trust.
Chan Reaksmey said as a result of Rany’s failure to repay the loan her family had incurred debt itself and had been forced to pawn a motorbike, a car and other valuable items.
Rany could not be reached, but early this month he said had not borrowed money from Chan Reaksmey but only pledged as guarantor for a loan taken by Bun Tha, an adviser to the Ministry of Information and former editor-in-chief of the opposition-aligned Khmer Amatak newspaper.
“I did not take a cent from her. So, there is no way to sue me, and I do not face any challenge,” he said at the time.
He also complained that the $800 monthly interest rate Chan Reaksmey had charged Tha for the loan, purportedly for an unspecified business venture, was exceedingly high.
Earlier this month the Post spoke to Tha, who said he was a victim of false allegations but refused to explain why.
“I accept that I was used [by Rany] to take $10,000 from her [Chan Reaksmey] but I didn’t issue a cheque for her. I was only a witness in this case,” he said.
No one has said why they had financial dealings with each other despite being members of the press, political parties and government ministries.
To contact the reporter on this story: Buth Reaksmey Kongkea at [email protected]