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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Dam dispute leads to man’s brutal killing

Dam dispute leads to man’s brutal killing

Kampong Cham provincial police are searching for a suspect accused of brutally killing his neighbour over a property dispute in Batheay district’s Taing Kraing commune on Tuesday.

Sam Nal, Batheay district police chief, said yesterday that the murder suspect is a resident of Ork Teang village who allegedly hacked his neighbour to death with a cleaver after an argument occurred when he tried to prevent the victim from building a dam on a small stream near his property.

“The suspect killed the victim at the dam site on Tuesday morning in Ork Teang village, after the suspect tried to stop the victim from digging up the land for building the dam because it affected his land,” Sam Nal said.

Chea Cheat, 27, was identified as the murder suspect in the death of 47-year-old Phork Phal, who died at the scene of the argument after suffering fatal injuries.

“The victim had his left forearm, two fingers and both legs cut off and sustained a [serious wound] to his head that caused him to die immediately at the scene,” Sam Nal said, adding that after the gruesome attack, the suspect allegedly escaped from the scene before police arrived.

Neang Sovath, provincial coordinator for local rights group Adhoc, said yesterday that the murder demonstrated the appeal of vigilante justice for many Cambodians who lack confidence in the Kingdom’s weak legal system.

“They don’t choose the court or legal action for help with their disputes because they don’t trust the justice system, so they decide to [resolve such issues] the way they want to, even though they know it is illegal,” Neang Sovath said.



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