Search form

Login - Register | FOLLOW US ON

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Phnom Penh court probes 2008 incident

Phnom Penh court probes 2008 incident

130129 04
Former Dey Krahorm evictee Chan Vichet speaks with reporters outside Phnom Penh Municipal Court, Monday, Jan. 28, 2013. Photograph: Vireak Mai/Phnom Penh Post

Four years since his violent eviction from the capital’s Dey Krahorm community, a former village representative appeared in court yesterday, accused of destroying public property.

Chan Vichet was the only one of 15 residents accused of damaging an excavator and bulldozer in an incident in January 2008 – about a year before the residents’ eviction from the capital’s Chamkarmon district – to appear at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court.

“I denied the accusations, because I was at work when the incident is supposed to have occurred,” he said, adding that the other 14 villagers had not attended court because they had not received summonses. “I have witnesses to say I wasn’t there. The commune chief said he did not see me there but accused me of ordering others to tip over an excavator.”

Tonle Bassac commune chief Khat Narith filed the complaint against the villagers, alleging that the vandalism occurred near their homes on January 29 and 30, 2008.

Vichet said the accusations against the villagers, who had been relocated 20 kilometres from Phnom Penh, were designed to intimidate them.

“I am a victim of eviction,” he said. “I cannot be happy working hard in my daily life if I have to go to court too. I cannot live peacefully.”

About 800 families lived at Dey Krahorm before a series of evictions cleared the way for the 7NG Company. The final 90 families were evicted four years ago.

The court’s deputy prosecutor, Chet Khemara, said he believed that the incident had occurred but would seek more evidence.

Am Sam Ath, technical adviser for rights group Licadho, said the majority of complaints related to land disputes that made it to court were filed by businessmen or government officials.

“There is not equality, transparency or balance between villagers and companies,” he said. “I think that the court should consider dropping the case.”

“It is not justice for villagers if they will be punished more, because they have been evicted,” he added.

A verdict will be announced February 14.

To contact the reporter on this story: Chhay Channyda at channyda.chhay@phnompenhpost.com

With assistance from Lieng Sarith

 

0

Comments

Please, login or register to post a comment

Latest Video

Google Angkor

Google's 3D Angkor online

Drawing on over one million photos, Google has taken the Angkor Wat temple complex into the digital realm, allowing anyone with internet access to enjoy 360-degree panoramic views of 100 of the ancient temples.

97' grenade attack commemoration

Back in the streets

Thousands of CNRP supporters march through Phnom Penh

This month 20 years ago...

1994-04-08 07:00
Thais to plant border listening devices
1994-03-25 07:00
Girl tells of brothel ordeal
1994-04-08 07:00
VN unready to do battle with inflation
1994-03-25 07:00
VN Airlines in big expansion
1994-04-08 07:00
Confusion as roads go back to 60s era
1994-04-08 07:00
Properly addressed