Charges Against Newspaper Editor Dropped

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.”

 

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