Equitable Cambodia Defamation Convictions QuashedPublished on January 12, 2018
The Appeal Court overturned defamation convictions and dropped all charges against three Equitable Cambodia (EC) staff this morning related to internal disciplinary proceedings involving Chan Vichet, a former EC employee. In delivering the verdict Judge Nhung Thol stated that there was no evidence of defamation.
Chheang Phea, Eang Vuthy and Phen Kimsong were convicted by Phnom Penh Municipal Court on 22 August 2016 and ordered to pay fines and damages over a written staff warning issued to the plaintiff.
The plaintiff claimed that he was unfairly dismissed from the EC in 2015 and that private information regarding the dismissal was revealed by management. However, the warning was issued privately after a due process.
As in the first instance trial, the prosecutor said at the appeal hearing that there was insufficient evidence to substantiate the charges. Cambodia’s Criminal Code (Article 305) defines defamation as an “allegation or charge” made in bad faith which is stated or circulated publicly, harming a person’s reputation.