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Land dispute results in shooting

A Japanese national is being accused by a Preah Sihanouk farmer of shooting him over a logging dispute in Kampong Seila district, the alleged victim and a rights monitor said yesterday.

Kanha Phan, 32, is alleging that Peter Ly, 39, shot him in the waist after a dispute between the two devolved on January 6, Phan told the Post yesterday after being released from the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital in the capital.

“I do not know why he shot me like this. He grabbed all my land and only paid $40 for 20 hectares. He said to take it or leave it,” Phan said, adding that while only 20 hectares belonged to him, Ly has allegedly grabbed nearly 100 hectares from local villagers living throughout the area.

Phan asked Adhoc to file a lawsuit on his behalf against Ly. He said Ly offered him $2,500, but he is seeking $5,000 as he is no longer able to provide for his family due to his disabling injury. The group said it will forward it to court next week.

In a report released by Adhoc, Ly is identified as a director of Prey Broset Health Center and a friend of Hun Manet, the eldest son of Prime Minister Hun Sen.

Cheab Sotheary, provincial coordinator for Adhoc’s Preah Sihanouk provincial offices, said yesterday that Ly’s father had resided in the area since the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk was in power, leaving him a “mountain of land”, where he built a health centre in 2005.

“Police did not arrest [Ly] or seize the gun,” after the incident, Sotheary said, adding that police only questioned him, connecting his special treatment to his friendship with Manet.

O’Bakrotes commune police Chief Tep Narith confirmed the suspect’s identity yesterday and that his whereabouts are unknown, adding that he had already forwarded the lawsuit to district police.

Nuon Hong, deputy district police chief, told the Post yesterday that he had yet to work on the case due to a busy schedule.

Takayoshi Kuromiya, counsellor for the Japanese embassy, did not respond to a request for comment before press time.

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