Lawmaker Assailed in Court for Ties to Mobitel

Five opposition party lawmakers went to court Tuesday to give evidence in their lawsuit against the director of Mobitel and Min­ister of Posts and Telecom­mun­ications So Khun.

“So Khun should be imprisoned for three to seven years and the director of Mobitel should get one to three years,” Sam Rainsy Party lawmaker Ngor Sovann said. “They should pay fines, too.”

Ngor Sovann and fellow opposition parliamentarians Sok Pheng, Chrea Sochenda, Chea Poch and Nuth Rumduol have ac­cused So Khun of accepting a $2,500 monthly salary from Mobitel to serve as an adviser.

Son Chhay, another Sam Rainsy parliamentarian and former chairman of the National Assembly’s telecommunications commission, would appear in a trial as a witness, the lawmakers said.

In 2001, Son Chhay confronted So Khun during an Assembly com­mission meeting about money the minister had received from Mobitel. So Khun said at the time that he was paid $2,500 per month to serve as the company’s honorary adviser.

But on March 8, So Khun told reporters he never received a monthly salary from Mobitel—only coverage of travel expenses during the company’s meetings.

Municipal Court Prosecutor Ouk Savouth said he would meet with So Khun next week.

But Sok Pheng said he had doubts the case would go to trial because, as a minister, So Khun has immunity. He did not know if the court would try to have that immunity revoked, he added.

So Khun said Tuesday he did not know if he would be willing to waive immunity. “I don’t know if this case is real or just a defamation,” he said.

Mobitel Chairman Kith Meng declined to comment Tuesday.


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