About 50 Borei Keila evictees gathered outside Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday to again pressure officials to lay criminal charges against Suy Sophan, the owner of development firm Phan Imex, for destroying their homes and breaching an agreement to build them new ones.
The former Borei Keila residents were evicted from the site on January 3 as Phan Imex employees, backed by local authorities, demolished about 300 homes.
Chum Ngan, the representative of the Borei Keila evictees, most of whom sleep in stairwells at Borei Keila, told the Post it was the third time they had lobbied the court to take action against Suy Sophan, whose company had agreed to build them homes as part of an agreement made in 2004.
“We filed a civil complaint on February 13 and filed our first criminal complaint on March 6, but the court has not yet responded by taking any action,” she said.
Another Borei Keila resident, Sou Im, 58, said the court needed to hold Suy Sophan responsible for her employees bulldozing homes and destroying property, as evictees clashed violently with police.
“The court must take appropriate measures and act on our complaints in the most just way,” she said.
Hong Bunhour, the court’s chief clerk, instructed the villagers to stay calm and to return to where they were staying yesterday.
He would inform them at a later date whether the court would take action against Suy Sophan, he said, adding the court was looking into the civil complaint.
Phan Imex agreed in 2004 to construct 10 six-storey buildings that were to house 1,776 families on two hectares of land at Borei Keila in exchange for the right to develop another two hectares.
The company has completed only eight of the buildings and has sent remaining families to relocation villages on the outskirts of Phnom Penh or in Kandal province.
Phan Imex has begun building on land where the ninth and tenth buildings were to go; however, it is believed they will not be for the evictees.