Final Decision Issued to Drop Charges Against Cambodia Daily Journalists

1 min read
Former Cambodia Daily reporters Zsombor Peter and Aun Pheap. (Ben Woods)
[responsivevoice_button voice="US English Female"]

The Appeal Court in Tbong Khmum has issued a written final decision dropping charges against former Cambodia Daily journalists Aun Pheap and Zsombor Peter, finally bringing an end to their prosecution with no further scope for appeals, their defense lawyer said.

Pheap and Peter were charged with incitement in 2017 after reporting on that year’s commune election in Ratanakiri. Three years later, the Ratanakiri Provincial Court dropped the charges when the plaintiff withdrew his complaint. But the prosecution appealed, leading the Appeal Court to uphold in January the lower court’s decision to drop the charges pending further appeals.

That January decision was finalized last week with a written order from the Appeal Court dated July 13 as there were no appeals, defense lawyer Sek Sophorn told VOD. Sophorn said the case was now closed.

“It stops here and that is final,” Sophorn said. “This decision has given justice for my two clients.”

Both Pheap and Peter have left Cambodia amid the court action against them. The two journalists were known for their coverage of illegal logging in the country and bringing to light the involvement of the military in the illicit trade, for which they won a regional award for an article published in 2017. The litigation against them came as the Cambodia Daily was also pressured with a disputed, multimillion-dollar tax bill that led to its newspaper and newsroom shutting down.

VOD. No part of this article may be reproduced in print, electronically, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without written permission. VOD is not responsible for any infringement in all forms. The perpetrator may be subject to legal action under Cambodian laws and related laws.