Three officials from Ratanakkiri’s O’Yadav district were charged on September 10 for threatening and intimidating a villager after he filed a lawsuit related to the corrupt sale of community land in 2011, according to a letter obtained by the Post yesterday.
Romas Svang, 47, of Yatung commune, received a letter from provincial courts last Friday, detailing the court’s decision to charge three officials for threatening to imprison and kill him if he spoke to the media after illegally selling community-owned land.
“I filed the lawsuit because they colluded with each other in selling 400 hectares of community land. One hectare is $800, so the money should have been $320,000,” Svang said.
After he filed a complaint with district authorities in 2011, the court-issued letter states that local authorities began monitoring the three men.
Rochom Cheung, the first clerk of Yatung commune; Young Chou, the former commune chief; and Sen Voeun, a former commune police chief now working as deputy chief, are the three officials accused.
Upon receiving the money for the land deal, the officials allegedly distributed about 80,000 riel [$200] to each family and used the rest to purchase motorbikes and land.
Sen Voeun said yesterday that he had no knowledge of the recent charges, but had appeared before the courts for questioning in 2011 and this year.
“I do not know about land selling or intimidation. I invited him [Romas] to meet with the commune chief, but I do not know why he accused me of threatening him,” he said.