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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Charges laid for destruction of Kampot bridge, not timber

People inpsect a ruined bridge in Kampot province after an overloaded logging truck tried to pass over it earlier this month. National Police
People inpsect a ruined bridge in Kampot province after an overloaded logging truck tried to pass over it earlier this month. National Police

Charges laid for destruction of Kampot bridge, not timber

The Kampot Provincial Court yesterday charged soldier Choeung Theng, 33, with the destruction of a local bridge that collapsed under the weight of a truck overloaded with timber on June 10.

Theng, a major in Region 3, was arrested in Kampong Speu over the weekend. “We had charged him with destruction of the bridge and overloading a truck and sent [the case] to the investigating judge,” said prosecutor Ek Chheng Huot.

Natural Resources and Wildlife Preservation Organization director Chea Hean said he was unhappy with the court because the solider not only broke the bridge but also had been illegally transporting wood, therefore the court should also charge Theng with a forest crime.

“It was not justice that the court only charged him two cases . . . because he had illegally transported forest [wood],’’ Hean said. ‘‘I will file a complaint to the ACU.”

Meanwhile, the three drivers of military trucks filled with timber and stopped last week in Tbong Khmum province as part of a crackdown on illegal logging are still at large. When asked for an update on the situation, provincial court deputy prosecutor Hak Seak Lim declined to comment.

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