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R'kiri rights workers spurn court summons

THE Ratanakkiri provincial coordinator for the rights group Adhoc did not appear for questioning Tuesday regarding incitement allegations levied against him, and said he did not believe it would be necessary to do so until he was formally charged.

The questioning was to be part of the investigation of a complaint filed by the local developer DM Group against Phnong minority villagers involved in a dispute over 200 hectares of community forests and 100 hectares of farmland. Pen Bonnar has been advocating on the villagers' behalf.

Pen Bonnar told the Post that he and his assistant, Chhay Ty, who was also summonsed to the provincial court, were busy attending a conference in Phnom Penh on Tuesday and had asked to have the session rescheduled to Thursday.

He added that he did not think it necessary to appear for the questioning and might ultimately end up sending a lawyer in his stead.
"I have not been charged with anything yet, so it is not necessary for me to be questioned at the court," he said.

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