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TV pundit will skip defamation hearing

TV pundit will skip defamation hearing

Television personality and website owner Soy Sopheap will not attend a scheduled court hearing this morning to answer charges that he defamed another media personality early last year and breached his privacy by accessing private emails, his lawyer said yesterday. 

The hearing against Soy Sopheap, a high-profile TV pundit and operator of popular news website Deum Ampil Media Centre, will begin at Phnom Penh Municipal Court this morning, deputy prosecutor Hor Lina told the Post.

Soy Sopheap was sued by Touch Kongkea, managing editor of Nokorwat newspaper, on April 28 last year, Hor Lina said.

Chan Vicheth, Touch Kongkea’s lawyer, said that his client was seeking US$5,000 in compensation for defamation and breach of privacy.  He accused Soy Sopheap of defaming his client by saying Touch Kongkea had threatened to have him arrested, and that the accused had also accessed his client’s private emails.

“My client has asked the court to punish Soy Sopheap by the law, and also ask for $5,000 in compensation from him,” Chan Vicheth said.

His client will not attend Soy Sopheap’s trial, he said.

Soy Sopheap declined to comment, referring questions to his lawyer, Kouy Thunna, who said his client was innocent and the charges against him baseless.

Soy Sopheap will not attend his hearing, Kouy Thunna added.

Soy Sopheap faced another defamation charge early last year. Former Constitutional Council member Son Soubert filed a complaint against him for allegedly defaming his father.

Soy Sopheap made a public apology and the complaint was withdrawn.

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