Disgraced former Lieutenant General Doeun Sovann appeared in court on Nov. 5, 2012. to answer charges for attempting to rope in volunteers from Prime Minister Hun Sen’s national land-titling scheme, monitoring measurment of a disputed plot he allegedly purchased.
Phnom Penh Municipal Court investigating Judge Ly Lip Meng said Sovann, who was sacked and stripped of his rank last month, faced court on charges of illegal interference while fulfilling a public function and issuing threats.
“He appeared at Phnom Penh Municipal Court early this morning. I have already questioned him about the accusations against him,” he said.
“Although he was charged by the court, he was not detained. He was allowed to stay under the control of the court. He will appear at the court when it is required,” he said.
The premier publicly called for the sacking of Sovann – also a former adviser to the Ministry of Interior – after the accusation surfaced that he called on land volunteers to measure a 52-hectare plot for him at Da commune in Pursat province’s Veal Veng district.
A senior police official previously told the Post that Sovann had since begged Hun Sen to pardon him for his past mistakes, offering up the 52-hectares he claims in Sangkum Thmey village to the government without compensation.
In a letter dated October 2 2012, Sovann called on the chief of the department of land management in Veal Veng to help him measure the land so that he would not have to sue nine families that denied the sale.
Major Theang Leng, chief of the Veal Veng district police, and Brigadier General Sarun Chanty, chief of the Pursat Provincial Police Commision, both said on Nov. 5, 2012 that they were unaware of any land Sovann had bought in the district.
Kong Samath, a police officer under the Phnom Penh municipal commissioner, said if Sovann were found guilty of both charges, he would face at least three to five years in prison.
To contact the reporter on this story: Buth Reaksmey Kongkea at firstname.lastname@example.org