17 May 2008

David Meas, An Unscrupulous Lawyer ?


I thought I could get away without commenting news that was happening this week. ខ្ញុំទ្រាំមិនបាន​ -- I couldn’t help it. So here, seeking dry shelter from the gathering storm, I am near our ផ្សារចាស់ Psa Chas (Old Market) at an internet Café. I’m glad to be back on the PC keyboard again.

As the news occurred there’s a French-Cambodian attorney by the name David Meas who emailed letters to at least two Khmer bloggers threatened to sue them for defamation of the current foreign minister Hor Nam Hong. The letters and comments can be read at:
Sacravatoon ,
CAAI News Media , and KI Media .

What my thought about David Meas threatening emails ?
There’s no basis for the lawsuit. Political (satire) cartoons are as old as the founding of democracy of the great civilised nations. It’s nothing new. People are making fun of top leaders. For example, France PM François Fillon, President Nicolas Sarkozy, US President George Bush, UK PM Gordon Brown, Australia PM Kevin Rudd…and etc. I am sure these top leaders haven’t escaped from not being portrayed in the political cartoons at all. Now do you think Hor Nam Hong or even PM Hun Sen is holier than the mentioned top world leaders? Insanity! I am tired of thinking that our Khmer leaders cannot be criticised. It seems like if anything we say or express (do caricature drawings) to their dislike, we will be slapped with a “defamation” lawsuit. We’re too childish. Cambodia , grow out from this infancy. កុំធ្វើដូចក្មេង បៀមដៃទៀត!. Don’t act like a child sucking thumb anymore. Freedom of expression as I wrote in my earlier post is very fundamental for us. So, please suppress us no more.

What's my thought about foreign minister Hor Nam Hong ?
I never like him for he has a shady past linking to his former position as Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge chief of Boeng Trawbek prison . He should resign from the foreign ministry post. Some other person could have been much better qualified to serve the foreign minister post than this old man.

What's my thought about David Meas ?
I have no respect for Mr. David Meas . It seems he truly is an unscrupulous type of attorney. The French law board of licensing should investigate David Meas . Perhaps, he shouldn’t be writing letters to harass and intimidate people all over the internet. If he’s to be found guilty of misconduct violating the ethic of a lawyer, abusing his attorney privilege, the board should strip away his license, barring David Meas to practice and penalize him to the fullest extent of the law.

Vanak
ផ្សារចាស់ ក្រុង​ភ្នំពេញ
Psa Chas, Phnom Penh

15 comments:

battambangnative said...

Show me a scrupulous lawyer, and I'll show you a lawyer without clients. The nature of law, unfortunately requires the lawyer to take up the fight for the client,no matter how he feels about the client's actions. How many lawyers have represented murderers, rapists, child-abusers etc, without regrets whatsoever. Without knowing Mr Meas, his true beliefs, his political leanings etc, I reserve my judgement, as I think it is unfair to judge him on his client alone. I definitely don't like this particular client though. Anyone who possesses powers in Cambodia at this moment and yet is happy to watch the country being held together by foreign aid, and barely surviving, without lifting a finger, is not worthy of anyone's admiration.

A few questions for you Vannak. I have read in KI Media that a new paint factory has been open in Svay Rieng. The factory is owned by a Vietnamese company, and the employees are 60% Khmer. My question are: 1) do you have any idea who the other 40% are? 2)what are the requirements for someone coming to work in Cambodia? 3)can a company really employ so many foreign workers (normally for a foreign company it is only the top few positions that are foreigners)?

Anonymous said...

Vanak,
You are wrong about caricatures, satires, cartoons, etc. If they clearly insult somebody's integrity there are laws in all the countries I can think of that would allow a lawsuit to be brought against the author or originator of it. The only difference is that it is usually a civil and not a criminal matter.

Anonymous said...

David Meas do a lot more damage for Hor Nam Hong by bullying the related press around the world. This inturn will force more witnesses to come forward. More evidents collectively will be found. Threatening the media is another nail to Hor Nam Hong's coffin. You can get away with it in Cambodia where the judicial branch is not independant and can be gaged by the sign of the $$$. To your part David Meas, your unproffessional conduct telling us alot about you and your capacity in law. Can't Hor Nam Hong afford a real lawyer? Shonky lawyers does not serve the interest of their clients. David Meas is bluffer looking to make a buck, which i can understand where he is comming from. For Hor Nam Hong, he will be surely losing the case if it were to be conducted outside Cambodia. This will seeing him in jail for both, the alleged crime and for theatening the medias. The more threatening letter he sent, the more charges will be laid against him if found guilty.

Anonymous said...

អោយអា ហោ ណាំហុង (អតីត មេគុកបឹងត្របែក) និង អាមេធាវី មិនគ្រប់ទឹក មាស ដាវីដ ប្តឹងទៅ ប៉ុន្តែ សូមជំរាបថា តាមច្បាប់បារាំង ឬ ច្បាប់អន្តរជាតិ គឺ បើដើមចោទ (អ្នកប្តឹង) ចាញ់ក្តី, ដើមចោទ ត្រូវតែសង ជំងឺចិត្ត ជាប្រាក់រាប់ម៉ឺន យើរ៉ូ និង ចំណាយផ្សេងៗ អោយចុងចោទ។

បើអាមិនគ្រប់ទឹក ដាវីដ ចិត្តសឿង លេងទៅ។ ខ្មែរទាំងអស់ នៅក្រៅប្រទេស នឹង មិននៅស្ងៀមទេ!

Blog By Khmer said...

BN, your comments are always a mind opening for me. I thought lawyer are always scrupulous. The example you gave about lawyers representing murderers, rapists, child-abusers is so true! I never thought of that. Now I know I can never be a lawyer !! OK, then I'll be a critic :)

Yes the factory is located in Bavet-Chantrea of my Svay Rieng province -- it's right next to Vietnam border. The factory name is called KOVA. As far as the inside information, I'm sorry I don't know anybody there I could ask. Now next time I go visit my mother, I'll ask my villagers if they know something about Kova. As, for #2 &3 questions -- I don't really know the legality of foreign workers inside our country. But remember one thing, our Cambodia is known as land of corruption. They'll do anything (corrupted way) to achieve their means. You can imagine, even a Viet national holds Cambodia (Attac-sagnan-nak-bann) citizen card . So they can do anything like all of us can. But, in my mind-- Viets if they're friends to the Cambodia people, respect our law, Khmer custome, tradition and most importantly our border.

Vanak

Blog By Khmer said...

Anon@10:23pm:

" Insult " is such a vague term to be proven in the court of law. I tend to disagree with you on this part. As a critic, this could mean that when I wrote David Meas could be an "unscroupous lawyer" this can be interpreted that I clearly insult him. When I say "I don't like Hor Nam Hong" or if I draw PM Hun Sen cartoon colour him green with a conical hat, that could also be as an insult. So, I don't know how the court could rule on this.

But I tend to agree with one anonymous reader's posted the comment at Sacravaca website:

"Amazing how an educated lawyer can even think he threaten a defamation lawsuit on a political cartoonist and blogger. I've seen caricatures of Bush as Hitler and other evil dictators, but we all in the US understand that we have the right to express our opinions, so long as it doesn't go as far as threatening the life of any person.

I have no idea where this lawyer received his education and license but he just destroyed his credibility with emailing threats. I seriously agree that their [sic] ought to be a counter lawsuit to revoke his license. And perhaps receive some sort of monetary compensation for emotional distress and donate th funds to Cambodia in the name of David Meas:) " End Quote.

Thanks for coming by and your comment.

Vanak

Blog By Khmer said...

5:27am, -- Great points on analysing this. Perhaps, the recipients of those emails from David Meas could file a counter sue against him for creating fear, threatening, and intimidations. Thanks !!

5:28 am, --សូមអរគុណលោក ដែលបានមកដល់ blog ខ្ញុំ ហើយនិងបានផ្តល់វិចារ ផងដែរ ។ ខ្ញុំយល់ថាលោកមាន​កំហឹងចំពោះ David Meas. But please keep our language in a civilised way. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Vannak,
Your accusation against David Meas shows that you are too ignorant about what is a lawyer or what is his client? David Meas is a lawyer and he is hired by his client Hor Nam Hong to do the job. David Meas only does his job. You need to quit talking too much.

Tep Thida

Anonymous said...

អា ម្សៀ ដាវិត មាស ជាមេធាវី អត់ការធ្វើនៅស្រុក បារាំង ។ វាទៅធ្វើមេធាវីអោយ ហោ ណាំហុង ទៅ ក្រែងរស់ខ្លះ ។ ព្រោះ ហោ ណាំហុង ជាអ្នកមាន ហើយមានអំណាច ។

popo said...

Our Vietnam-Cambodia border is the same during the last 150 years since the French occupation. The opposition party had tried to distort the truth. There are many ways to verify the truth by 1. Traveling to the border crossing 2. Talking to the people who were living a long the border 3. googling the map of Cambodia and comparing it to the old one. I wish we won't talk about this nonsence topic anymore. Sometimes we unintentionally say some silly thing, but we always should respect the trutth. Cheers!

Anonymous said...

After having reading all comments in this post, i feel that most of visitors visiting this blog have change or new comers are here.

They all tend to take turn on talking like people not living in Cambodia such as a visitor name POPO. He try to pretend that Vietnam - Cambodia border is not having any problems. It is fine to say that we have some confusion there but it is not the same.

I am Cambodian and i have been living here for more than 24 years. I know what is going on with Cambodia and i can say that VN-Cam border is having big problem that the problem is solving not still we have the same result. I myself have been to my friend homeland that he need to have a passport to go to his own homeland.

PLS if you are Khmer, DON"T TRY TO PROTECT OR HIDE THE TRUTH. we just showing our idea and i hope that the idea are always show your real perspective.

popo said...

Anonymous at 12:59,
I told you ways to verify the fact, but seemingly you still seem not ready to accept it.
The only different was Koh Tral, which the Cambodian goverment had eventually given up the claim of ownership a few years ago, according to an agreement between the two countries.
Originally, Jules Brevie, the last Indochina governor, decided to give it to South Vietnam after a long time figuring out which country Koh Tral should belong to.
Besides, Cambodia was never crowded, so people were never adventurous enough to live in an isolated island like it. Viet people moved to live there, although it didn't belong to Vietnam precedently. What could you do? How could you prove you owned that land? It'd be the same like, for example, you have money, you bought a piece of land, you had the ownership, but you never wanted to live there, and you never check it out. Sometimes in the past, you heard that there were someone who settled in your land, but you didn't anticipate other people might living there, didn't make a real effort to kick them out, or to prove that the land was bought by you. 50 years later, do you still believe your piece of land belongs to you? Is the ownership enough to kick the invaders out?
Bear in mind that in the past, land ownership belonged to the landlord or the king. The size of a kingdom changed all the time depending on how strong or weak he was comparing to his neighboring kings. As a result, Khmer kings had given Vietnamese kings piece by piece of their land, most of the south of Vietnam.
Accept the fact when you don't have any other choice, and you knew that you couldn't do anything about it. There are some tiny islands in the Atlantic, possessed by Canada, but 95% of a few hundred residents were American, Canada can't do anything to them. Canada rarely complained to US goverment, but who cares and nothing will change. With the time it'll belong completely to USA, and Canada will accept it in reality, but maybe not accept it in the map. I just want to clear some minds here. Hope this helps!

popo said...

It was sad fact, wasn't it? However, if we'd like to move on we better accept it, at least for now. In the future if Khmer people outnumber Viet people, or at least a big fraction of. That will entitle Cambodia to do some thing, imho. There are far more important things to do for every citizen and something practical and not beyond your reach. Cheers!

Anonymous said...

Vanak,

I applaud your courage and freedom of expression. As for this topic, anyone who says many countries can sue a cartoonist, or a satirist has no clue what he's talking about. Fox news, a multi billion dollars company tried to sue satirist and comedian Al Franken for using their slogan. Ofcourse, Foxnews, a conservative channel wanted the very liberal commedian shut out , but ended up being laughed out of the court.

"The judge said Fox's case was "wholly without merit," and the trademark "Fair and Balanced," registered by Fox in 1998, was weak. He also said the network was "trying to undermine the First Amendment."

Anonymous said...

The friendly response to the article written in the Nation by Mr. Supalak Ganjanakhundee for the balance of public opinion and helping build the good relations between Cambodia and Thai.

By Mr. Ros Nouvdarab


Kasit rules out Thai ownership

By Supalak Ganjanakhundee

The Nation, Published on December 26, 2008

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/2008/12/26/politics/politics_30091895.php


A return to Thai ownership of the Preah Vihear Temple is not an option, new Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya said yesterday. But Thailand would maintain cooperation with Cambodia over the historic and controversial Hindu temple, he said.

The Preah Vihear case would be handled in line with the 1904 and 1907 Siam-Franco treaties, the 1962 International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruling and the 2000 Memorandum of Understanding on boundary demarcation, he said.

The ICJ ruled in 1962 that the Preah Vihear belonged to Cambodia but the surrounding land - and access to it - have remained in dispute.

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajava said in June - while he was opposition leader and in debate with former foreign minister Noppadon Pattama - that the ICJ had decided only the ruined temple building belonged to Cambodia. The piece of land on which the temple sat was Thailand's.



Cambodia government absolutely rejected Thailand claimed that land surrounding the temple is belonged to Thailand. According to the Map of Dangrek and in the Annex I, used by The International Court of Justice (ICJ) 1962, The court by nine votes to three FINDS THAT THE TEMPLE OF PREAH VIHEAR IS SITUATED IN TERRITORY UNDER SOVEREIGNTY OF CAMBODIA.


During that scrutinized session

The Court raised the question: “THE REAL QUESTION, THEREFORE, WHICH IS THE ESSENTIAL ONE IN THIS CASE, IS WHETHER THE PARTIES DID ADOPT THE ANNEX I MAP, AND THE LINE INDICATED ON IT, AS REPRESENTING THE OUTCOME OF THE WORK OF DELIMITATION OF THE FRONTIER IN THE REGION OF PREAH VIHEAR, THEREBY CONFERRING ON IT A BIND-ING CHARACTER” (p.22, par.3 Reports of Judgments, Advisory Opinions and Orders, International Court of Justice - Case Concerning the Temple of Preah Vihear - Judgment of 15 June 1962);

The Court answered:

1.“THE COURT HOWEVER CONSIDERS THAT THAILAND IN 1908 -1909 DID ACCEPT THE ANNEX I MAP AS REPRESENTING THE OUTCOME OF THE WORK OF DELIMITATION, AND HENCE RECOGNIZED THE LINE ON THAT MAP AS BEING THE FRONTIER LINE, THE EFFECT OF WHICH IS TO SITUATE PREAH VIHEAR IN CAMBODIAN TERRITORY” (p.32, par.5 of the same Report of Judgment, Advisory Opinions and Orders mentioned above).

2.BOTH PARTIES, BY THEIR CONDUCT, RECOGNIZED THE LINE AND THEREBY IN EFFECT AGREED TO REGARD IT AS BEING THE FRONTIER LINE” (p.33, par.1 of the same Report of Judgment, Advisory Opinions and Orders mentioned above).

3.“THE COURT CONSIDERS THE ACCEPTANCE OF THE ANNEX I MAP BY THE PARTIES CAUSED THE MAP TO ENTER THE TREATY SETTLEMENT AND TO BECOME AN INTEGRAL PART OF IT” (p.33, par.4 of the same Report of Judgment, Advisory Opinions and Orders mentioned above).

4.“THE COURT, THEREFORE, FEELS BOUND, AS A MATTER OF TREATY INTERPRETATION, TO PRONOUNCE IN FAVOR OF THE LINE AS MAPPED IN THE DISPUTED AREA” (p.35, par.3 of the same Report of Judgment, Advisory Opinions and Orders mentioned above).



The People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) demanded recently the foreign ministry recall ownership of the 11th century Khmer sanctuary.

Its call was unlikely to succeed as the foreign ministry has been examining boundary demarcation and provisional arrangements for the area.

The new minister Kasit, an active member of the PAD before taking the office, said he would not change previous foreign ministry resolutions with Phnom Penh.
Vasin Teeravechyan would retain his position as co-chair of the Thai-Cambodia Joint Commission on Demarcation for Land Boundary, Kasit said.



As the sovereign and civilized nation through out the different array of abiding the international obligations, THAI hopefully carries out what the other UN member nations that always observed, implemented to maintain and preserving regional or world peace and security. Thai-Cambodia Joint Commission on Demarcation for Land Boundary or JBC which Cambodia and Thai agreed since year 2000 and Term of Reference 2003, Thai agreed to honor of those principles, but not Thai troops occupied and threatened Cambodia territory and national security.



"In general, it is our intention to cooperate with Cambodia and the Unesco (United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation), he told reporters.



As experiences Thailand’s “cooperate” with Cambodia should be one of cultural orientations not politics in the case of Preah Vihear.



The minister said Thailand should have a representative in the International Coordinating Committee (ICC) to protect and develop Cambodia's Preah Vihear.



Through the record of the meeting on August 16, 2008, the 3rd point of the agreement, by invitation from Cambodia, Thailand agreed to be member of the International Coordinating Committee (ICC) with the framework of international cooperation. This record of the meeting was signed by H.E. Sok An, Deputy Prime Minister and H.E. Dr. Manaspas Xuto, Advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Cambodia questions whether Thailand representative participation in the ICC is “liability or asset?” for this prestigious organization that play a good role international model for preserving and developing in sustainability for the world heritage site. If we looked back what Thai down played at the world heritage session in Christchurch, New Zealand and Quebec, Canada in the term of Thai cooperation with Cambodia to protect and preserve the Preah Vihear for the benefit of all Humanity, is a nightmare for those who love the jewel of human achievement as culture in the universal and exceptional value.



However, Thailand would have a problem in taking up this position since the PAD opposed the idea, saying it meant recognition of Cambodia's sovereignty over the temple.



Cambodia government do not mine, however international obligation should be abided and respected for the dignity and good neighbor as civilized state.



"We have to weigh between presence and absence in the ICC," said the ministry's Permanent Secretary Virasakdi Futrakul.

With a representative in the body, Thailand would have access to the temple's administration, he said. But, by the same token, Thailand could also be outvoted.



Even though Preah Vihear Temple is now a UNESCO World Heritage site, but Cambodia as a “Sovereign Nation” retains the ownership and rights and also UNESCO note that the inscription “engages the collective responsibility of the international community to ensure its protection”. Not the politic neither beneficiary of Thai interest for the other issues.



However, Thailand's national world heritage committee would make the final decision on the ICC, Virasakdi said, noting the foreign ministry would send a representative to the committee.



Thai should instead focuses on redeployment troop where Thai troop illegally occupied after 15 July 2008 and all the border work as JBC has been committed through out the different meeting.



Kasit said his previously provocative stance in the PAD over the Preah Vihear conflict would not jeopardise relations with Cambodia as its leaders, notably Prime Minister Hun Sen, were familiar with him since they worked together on the Paris Accord on Peace in Cambodia in 1989. Hun Sen was the first to send congratulations to Prime Minister Abhisit, he said.



What the different between Samdech HUN Sen and KASIT is Peace, Friendship and cooperation preserving.