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Officials cheated me: farmer

A Cassava grower in Siem Reap’s Srei Snom district has accused a district police chief and a deputy commune chief of cheating him out of his land after they doctored the grower’s testimony in a court case.

Em Socheat, a lawyer for land owner Yem Savuth, filed a complaint last week against district police chief Meas Pidor and deputy Sleng Spean commune chief, Chheng Leum, accusing them of helping to defraud his client out of $10,200 in a separate debt dispute with a neighbouring villager, Chan Sophal, a police officer at the Ministry of Interior.

According to the lawyer, his client gave a thumbprinted testimony denying he owed the money to Sophal, but that wasn’t the testimony the district police chief forwarded to the court, which decided in favour of Sophal.

Yem was ordered to repay the $10,200 debt – forcing him to freeze farming on his 92 hectare cassava farm.

The accused district police chief told the Post yesterday he was not aware of the complaint made against him and that as far as he was concerned both sides had been heard in court.

The other man accused, Chheng Leum, a deputy commune chief of Sleng Spean, said he had no involvement in the contract between the aggrieved farmer and Sophal.

Provincial police said they are investigating the fraud accusations.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kim Sarom at sarom.kim@phnompenhpost.com

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