By Pin Sisovann
the cambodia daily
A defamation lawsuit against Sek Rady, editor of the Khmer language Udom Kati Khmer newspaper, was dropped last week after he asked RCAF Major General Dom Hak’s pardon for publishing allegations that the general was involved with drug dealing without asking his side of the story, both men said Tuesday.
Sek Rady said that he asked Dom Hak’s pardon after the court ruled in favor of the general, concluding he had no involvement in drug dealing and ordered Sek Rady to pay about $1,750 to the general and about $750 for court costs.
“I asked General Dom Hak’s pardon because I did not publish information from all sides,” Sek Rady said. “I printed only information from the police, but no information from the general.”
The general was accused of involvement in a drug ring that police broke up in October 2003. He was charged under a general indictment against seven other Cambodians and Taiwanese suspected of producing and trafficking illegal drugs, but he was not specifically named in the indictment.
Dom Hak and RCAF Lieutenant Colonel Muon Sokhan were both released for lack of evidence after being arrested and detained for questioning in connection with the 35 kg of heroin, which had a reported US street value of about $10 million, discovered by police in a Tuol Kok district house.
Dom Hak said on Tuesday that he dropped the charges against Sek Rady because the editor “realized his mistake” and printed an apology in his newspaper, as well as sending a letter of apology directly to the general.
“My role is office director of RCAF. I didn’t get into that [drug] business,” Dom Hak said. “I am sorry for the misunderstanding.
“After the court found the truth and the editor asked my pardon, I finished the issue,” he added. “I don’t want him to be convicted. I want everyone safe and sound.”