A criminal defamation lawsuit against Global Witness country director Eva Galabru will likely be dismissed in the next few weeks, Phnom Penh Municipal Court prosecutor Khut Sopheang said Sunday.
The lawsuit, filed Wednesday by several officials from the Ministry of Agriculture’s Forestry Department, does not have ground to stand on, he said. “We could not find the wrongdoing,” he said. “They accused her, but she did not make a mistake.”
The lawsuit stems from a report written last year after a Global Witness investigation into logging practices in Siem Reap province. The environmental watchdog has served as the government’s independent forestry monitor since 1999.
One logging company is accused in the report of illegally cutting resin trees. The report also said Forestry Department staff may have been involved in illegal activity.
Galabru “is a foreigner. She came to help Cambodia,” Khut Sopheang said. “She earns nothing from our country. How can we file a complaint against her? It is not right at all.”
Dismissal of the suit will be official when he presents it to a judge within two weeks, Khut Sopheang said.
He said he expects the judge to follow his recommendation.