Noun Mesa, the publisher of CNM TV News has been placed in pre-trial detention, and charged with fraudulently accessing an automated data processing system.
The court issued the pre-trial detention order on December 10, 2023. Plang Sophal, spokesman for the Phnom Penh Municipal Court said the prosecutor had completed an investigation on December 9, 2023.
Mesa was arrested by police on December 4, around 2:30pm, near a coffee shop in the capital city of Cambodia, Phnom Penh. He had traveled there to meet a representative of an unnamed company to verify documents allegedly originating from the company linked to corruption. His brother Noun Nak reported this information to CamboJA two days later, on December 6.
Nak said after his brother obtained the documents, he called the company for verification. Instead, they requested to meet in person.
Three days later, the company called his brother back to meet with him face to face at a coffee shop in Boeng Keng Kang commune . When he arrived near the coffee shop, he was immediately arrested by police without explanation.
Nak said he visited his brother at the General Commissariat of National Police on the morning of December 6, 2023. Nak said he was informally told his brother was being sued for extortion.
In the voice message conversation, purportedly between Mesa and the man from the company he had agreed to meet at the coffee shop. In the four minute long voice message recording, Mesa said he was on the road to meet the man to verify the origin of the document he had obtained. In the recording, Mesa claimed he had no intention to extort the company. The voice message recording was shared on social media for a few days, but was later deleted.