Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday tried the NRP’s former Battambang provincial leader for allegedly making libelous remarks about another party member and illegally using a weapon during an incident in Phnom Penh in 2007.
Nou Kim Y was accused in June 2007 of abusing Prey Veng province lawmaker Sao Rany and pulling a pistol on In Sokhom, the NRP’s chief representative for Svay Rieng province, during a heated argument about money at the party’s Cabinet office in Phnom Penh.
Mr Kim Y was subsequently tried in absentia in June 2010 and sentenced to a year in jail. Yesterday, as the case was heard for a second time, Mr Kim Y said he never knew he had been tried last year over the allegations. Mr Kim Y was arrested by warrant in Phnom Penh on March 1 but by law was allowed to challenge the original ruling by requesting a new hearing.
“I did not insult Sao Rany, and I also did not threaten anyone by pointing the gun at anyone,” he told the court.
A statement from Mr Rany, read in court by a clerk, said that Mr Kim Y’s words were insulting and that he was demanding 100 million riel (about $25,000) in compensation.
Mr Sokhom, now an adviser to the Council of Ministers, told the court yesterday that Mr Kim Y had gone to the NRP office on the day in question to demand the money he claimed was owed to him by Mr Rany.
“He pointed his gun at me,” Mr Sokhom said, adding that Mr Kim Y had used words to insult both him and Mr Rany.
Defense lawyer Nil Sovann said that his client had admitted going to the NRP office on June 19, 2007, but denied he had committed any crimes.
A statement made by a friend of Mr Kim Y, Tann Kimlun, claimed Mr Rany still owed his friend $110,000. Mr Rany could not be reached yesterday.
Judge You Bunna said a verdict would be announced on April 4.