A Cambodian journalist has been imprisoned in Sihanoukville for allegedly attempting to extort money from a nightclub owner in return for not publishing a photograph linked to an assault case.
Duong Sareoun, Sihanoukville provincial police chief, said Friday that Sar Than, a reporter for local newspaper the Evening News, was arrested on March 17 and is in pre-trial detention at the provincial prison.
Sar Than is accused of taking pictures of a nightclub owner arrested by military police in February for beating a female worker, then attempting to extort money in return for not publishing the picture in the newspaper, Duong Sareoun said.
The journalist was arrested when he went to collect $150 from the owner of the club, he said .
Investigating judge Tak Kim Sea said he was obliged to detain the journalist in prison because of the seriousness of the case.
“He really committed this crime. So he has to face trial for extortion. We cannot release him even if there is a proposal to let him out of prison on bail,” Tak Kim Sea said .
Night club owner Sok Thouk was arrested by military police for allegedly beating a girl over the head with her shoe. But the case has not come to court yet, Tak Kim Sea said .