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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Chi Kraeng villagers remain locked up

Chi Kraeng villagers remain locked up

Siem Reap Province
SEVEN villagers from Chi Kraeng commune who were acquitted last month of robbery and causing injury in an ongoing land dispute remain behind bars awaiting trial on separate charges, lawyers said Sunday.

Defence lawyer Ly Sochetra said additional robbery charges had been filed against the villagers, who were arrested following a March 22 altercation during which 100 armed police opened fire on 80 villagers caught harvesting crops on land that officials have ruled is part of Anlong Samnor commune.

Nine villagers were arrested. During their trial last month, two were found guilty of causing injury, sentenced to one year in prison and ordered to pay compensation. Provincial court prosecutor Ty Soveinthal, however, said Sunday that those charges stemmed not from the March 22 altercation but from a March 18 fight between villagers from the neighbouring districts. The outstanding charges, he said, were in connection with the March 22 altercation. Deputy prosecutor Toch Pheakdey said he did not know when a trial would be held for the outstanding charges.

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