Prime Minister Hun Sen’s attorney Ky Tech will appear for questioning before Cambodian Bar Association inspectors on Tuesday concerning his complaint last month against the attorney representing SRP lawmaker Mu Sochua in her defamation lawsuit against the premier.
The invitation to Mr Tech came after Ms Sochua’s lawyer, Kong Sam Onn, appeared before the CBA’s inspectors on Friday for a two-hour questioning session. Mr Tech has asked that Mr Sam Onn be disbarred for supposed unethical conduct.
“I will go to the Cambodia Bar Association on Tuesday to clarify about my complaint. I will continue to pursue my complaint,” Mr Tech said.
“I have informed the Cambodia Bar Association about the subject and the Cambodia Bar Association can examine whether Mr Sam Onn has [made] mistakes or not,” he added.
With the Phnom Penh Municipal Court working on dueling defamation cases between Mr Hun Sen and Ms Sochua, Mr Tech filed his complaint with the CBA against Mr Sam Onn, claiming that the attorney had violated the bar’s professional code of ethics by publicly claiming at a news conference that the prime minister had defamed his client. Mr Tech contends that the announcement was unprofessional because it was made prior to the court having ruled on the matter.
On Friday, Mr Sam Onn said, he was questioned for two hours by a panel of three inspectors who asked him why he held the news conference prior to filing his client’s lawsuit and whether he had violated the CBA code of ethics.
“There is no law that requires me to file the lawsuit before I defend my client,” Mr Sam Onn said by telephone. “As an attorney, I have strategies to defend my client even though it is outside the court.”
He added that he refused to answer the inspectors’ questions regarding Mr Tech’s allegations that he violated the bar’s code of ethics.
“Mr Tech didn’t give the specific articles within the Cambodia Bar Association’s code of ethics. I didn’t consider the allegations,” he said.
The CBA appointed five inspectors to look into the complaint against Mr Sam Onn, but only three questioned the attorney. Mr Sam Onn said that inspector Hem Voun had been removed from the panel because he worked for Mr Tech. And inspector Lean China said she did not make it to Friday’s questioning because she was too ill to attend.
Inspector Hem Socheat said that the panel asked just four questions concerning Mr Tech’s complaint.
Additionally, the inspectors put before Mr Sam Onn a number of newspaper articles, CDs and VCDs showing that the lawyer had said at an April 23 news conference that the prime minister had defamed Ms Sochua, Mr Socheat said.
Mr Sam Onn acknowledged that he had said so, the inspector said, adding that the panel then asked why Mr Sam On “used unethical language toward Prime Minister Hun Sen” and made a conclusion before the court process had been completed.
“Mr Sam Onn told the inspectors that there is no law that prevents him from speaking. It was his means to protect his client and he can defend his [client] outside the court systems,” Mr Socheat said.
“We will report [results of] the questioning to the Cambodia Bar Association’s 19 [bar] council members to make a conclusion,” he added.