PHNOM PENH —
The Court of Appeals has dismissed a request to overturn a case against a former senior election official and human rights worker who was sentenced to six months for defamation in September.
Ny Chakrya, former secretary-general of the National Election Committee, was sentenced for defamation over criticisms he made of the judiciary in Siem Reap.
He was sentenced on September 22 by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court.
Sok Keo Bandith, Siem Reap deputy prosecutor, and Ki Rithy, a provincial court magistrate, filed the suit against him after Chakrya claimed members they had illegally detained two people while he was a human rights worker with local NGO Adhoc.
Som Sokong, Chakrya’s lawyer, said the decision was “unfair”.
“The evidence presented was not qualified or specific, and it is not enough to determine Mr. Chakrya’s offense,” he said.
Touch Tharith, court spokesman, said if Chakrya’s legal team was unsatisfied with the decision they could take the case to the Supreme Court.
Duch Piseth, coordinator of the Cambodian Center for Human Rights’ trial monitoring project, said the decision was politically motivated and “may undermine freedom of expression.”