The woman at the center of a sex scandal involving deputy opposition leader Kem Sokha has been summoned to appear for questioning this morning at the Interior Ministry’s anti-terrorism and transnational crime department, according to the woman and rights group Adhoc.
Khem Chandaraty, the rumored mistress of Mr. Sokha, now widely known by her Facebook alias “Mon Srey,” sought help from Adhoc on Wednesday evening because she said she was scared by the order to appear, which she says followed an earlier summons ordering her to appear on Monday this week.
“Because of the two letters, she came to us because she feels really worried,” said Ny Sokha, head of monitoring for Adhoc. “Therefore, Adhoc will help offer a lawyer so that the lawyer can accompany her tomorrow to join and listen to the authorities’ questioning process.”
It is unclear why the anti-terrorism department would be charged with investigating the scandal, which revolves around a spate of overtly sexual audio clips posted to the “Mon Srey” Facebook page. The clips appear to have been secretly recorded and comprise conversations between a man purported to be Mr. Sokha and a young female lover—rumored to be Ms. Chandaraty.
The court system became involved in the scandal after prominent anti-government activist Thy Sovantha filed a defamation complaint last week against the individuals heard in the recording, who mention her name in a negative light in one of the leaked clips.
The summons for Ms. Chandaraty issued by the anti-terrorism department states that it was issued at the behest of prosecutors at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court based on an investigation of Ms. Sovantha’s complaint.
Reached by telephone Thursday and asked about the case, deputy prosecutor Keo Socheat said “I don’t know” before hanging up. The director of the anti-terrorism department, Y Sok Khy, also hung up on a reporter.
In a video interview with the Voice of America news service, posted online Thursday, Ms. Chandaraty vehemently denies having any relationship with Mr. Sokha, claiming that her Facebook page had been hacked and that she did not post the clips. She also says she is terrified by the prospect of appearing before the anti-terrorism police.
“I deny that I’m his mistress, and I am not involved in any love affairs with him,” she says, adding: “I’m so scared because they summoned me two times, because I have done nothing wrong.”
She said, however, that she would heed the anti-terrorism department’s summons, accompanied by her new lawyer.
“I came to Adhoc to find justice for myself,” she said.