PHNOM PENH —
A prominent rights worker who was questioned over the developing sex scandal allegations against opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party deputy leader Kem Sokha has said that the woman at the heart of the salacious affair is also a victim.
Thida Khus, head of NGO Silaka, said she felt sympathetic towards Khom Chandaraty, Sokha’s alleged mistress at the heart of an Anti-Corruption Unit investigation.
“What I’m worried about is that now the victim is still Srey Mom. The opinions from the public, civil society groups and so on have labeled her as dangerous. We don’t know the real issue behind all of this. So we ask the public not to come too quick judgment and accuse Srey Mom,” she said, using an alias for Chandaraty.
A leaked phone recording released last month allegedly showed that Chandaraty was Sokha’s mistress, however, no one has come forward to verify the recording’s authenticity.
Eng Chhay Eang, a CNRP lawmaker, said that the case was “not of national importance” and a “private matter” out of the party’s remit.
Khus was critical of Sokha’s silence on the issue, adding that he should have come out sooner to respond to the release of the recording sooner.
Adhoc director Thun Saray agreed. “Even if [the allegations are] true, he should still come out to defend his rights.”
Chandaraty has demanded $300,000 in compensation from Sokha and four rights workers who were detained on Sunday in relation to the case.