In October, Im Sameth, an online journalist at IPN Watch in Preah Vihear Province was sued by Seng Dila and Preap Thoeut, a military officer, in Preah Vihear for extortion, disseminating fake news, and defamation.
They demanded Sameth pay $8,000 in exchange for dropping the complaint against him. The court had issued two warrants and ordered police to bring Sameth to court. The first warrant was issued on October 10, and second was issued on November 6.
Sameth is currently on the run.
He told CamboJA news that he did not commit any of the charges from the complaint. In a video, posted on the IPN Watch Facebook page, Sameth interviewed a family who claimed they were forced by a military official in Preah Vihear province to pay money for transporting wood.
In another video, Sameth reported that Seng Dila was the prominent timber trader in the province. Poeun Bunthoeun, publisher of IPN Watch said his organization values professionalism and all content is checked through an editorial process before publishing. He denied that his colleague extorted any money.