THE Phnom Penh Municipal Court ruled Thursday that the French colonial-era Hotel Renakse should not be demolished, siding with the hotel's former manager, who has been ensnared in a legal tussle with government officials over the fate of the building for more than two months.
Kem Chantha, who managed the hotel for nearly two decades, was barred from its premises on January 6 by police and officials wielding a court order stating that the hotel had fallen into an unacceptable state of disrepair. She filed a case to save the hotel from demolition, and the Cambodian People's Party filed a case arguing that her lease on the building should be revoked because she had failed to adequately maintain it.
Ignoring court summonses, Kem Chantha decided not to show up for hearings in both cases last month. She said Thursday that she planned to ask the Court of Appeal to reinstate her as manager.
But Ke Sakhorn, deputy director of the Municipal Court, said it had not made any ruling regarding Kem Chantha's lease. He confirmed that the court had ruled to prevent the building's demolition.