Woman Tried for Insulting RCAF Mining Tycoon

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Monday heard the case of a woman charged with defaming mining magnate and RCAF Lieutenant General Nim Meng in relation to a land dispute in Preah Sihanouk province.

Presiding Judge Kim Dany said that Sok Neang Gek was being charged with defamation and the use of false evidence. 

Bun Kong, Mr. Meng’s lawyer, said that his client filed a complaint against Ms. Neang Gek in 2011 after she claimed that Mr. Meng had grabbed her land in Preah Sihanouk province and provided false evidence to support her claims in a local newspaper article.

“She has defamed my client’s honor in the newspaper by saying that he has grabbed her land of about 10 hectares in Stung Hav district and that he used anarchic armed forces to protect the disputed land,” Mr. Kong said.

Mr. Kong said that his client, whose wife owns mining company Nim Meng Group, was demanding $100,000 in damages from Ms. Neang Gek.

Ms. Neang Gek, 46, who works as a translator for a garment factory, was tried in absentia.

Ms. Neang Gek’s defense lawyer, Poeung Thida, said that her client held a land title for the disputed 10 hectares of land, and maintained that Mr. Meng had illegally taken it.

“My client had an official document giving her ownership over the land and I request the court to drop the charges because my client did not defame or insult Mr. Meng,” Ms. Thida said during Monday’s hearing.

A date for the verdict has yet to be announced.

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