Pop singer Sok Chenda demanded $500,000 in damages from her ex-boyfriend during his trial at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Monday over claims of physical abuse and that he had posted nude photographs of her online.
Kuy Sithisak, a police officer who is the son of late prisons department director-general Kuy Bunsorn, was charged with distribution of pornography and intentional violence on August 30 last year.
In a written testimony read out in court, Ms. Chenda claimed Mr. Sithisak—whom she began dating in 2015—was emotionally and physically abusive throughout their yearlong relationship before things finally came to a head on February 26 last year.
The plaintiff claimed the pair had a violent argument while Mr. Sithisak was driving her car, which led her to flee the vehicle, leaving her purse and telephone behind. Months later, the defendant remained in contact hoping to mend the broken relationship, she said in her testimony.
Last June, after learning she was to travel to Australia to perform a concert, Mr. Sithisak threatened to post nude photos on social media that he had stolen from her phone in February, she claimed.
Her lawyer, Nuon Bora, argued in court that the defendant had ultimately followed through on the threat. Nude photos of Ms. Chenda went viral on Facebook, he said.
He also requested that the charge of intentional violence be upgraded to reflect aggravating circumstances, and claimed that the court had been biased in favor of Mr. Sithisak. The defendant had repeatedly failed to show up for questioning without consequence, Mr. Bora said.
Mr. Sithisak’s lawyer Var Pisey, who read a statement from his client in court, denied all accusations, saying there was no evidence linking his client to the allegations, despite written testimony from the victim’s sister and friend corroborating her claims of domestic abuse.
Mr. Pisey maintained that his client had not posted the photos and did not know who had.
The lawyer added that Mr. Sithisak was well-educated and therefore knew better than to “walk around hitting everyone.”
Mr. Pisey went on to question why his client would introduce Ms. Chenda to his parents if he had used violence against her, before ultimately requesting that the judge drop all charges.
Neither the plaintiff nor defendant appeared in court. The verdict is expected to be announced on August 15.
The charges of distribution of pornography and intentional violence carry potential sentences of up to one month and three years in prison, respectively, and fines of up to 200,000 riel and 6 million riel, or about $50 and $1,500.
sony@cambodiadaily.com
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