Cambodian opposition politician guilty of defamation

Son Chhay ordered to pay damages of $750,000 to Hun Sen’s ruling party.

Son Chhay, the vice-president of the Candlelight Party, has been found guilty of defamation by Phnom Penh Municipal Court after he criticized the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) and the National Election Committee (NEC) over the June commune elections.

The court ordered the 66-year-old to pay the CPP US$750,000 in damages and a further $4,250 in fines after he “excessively exaggerated and accused the CPP and NEC of controlling the election process” but “did not provide any evidence that these statements were true.”

Son Chhay had reportedly said: “These election results do not reflect the will of the people who were intimidated. Their votes were bought and stolen.”

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