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Villagers to appear in court over Kampong Speu row

Villagers to appear in court over Kampong Speu row

SIX village representatives in Kampong Speu province’s Thpong district said they would appear in provincial court today to answer to allegations that they became violent with employees of the Phnom Penh Sugar Company, which is owned by Cambodian People’s Party Senator Ly Yong Phat, during a series of standoffs last week.

More than 200 families live on land in Omlaing commune , which is also part of a 9,000-hectare concession granted to the company. Ly Yong Phat has said they will not be evicted.

On Monday, the representatives sent a letter to the provincial court to ask to settle the dispute with local officials before today’s session, but Nov Chhon, one of the representatives, said Wednesday that they had received no response.

Nov Chhon added that he would be happy to answer any questions posed to him during the session.

“I will explain to the court the reason why we did not allow company staff to grab our land,” he added, referring to incidents in which company staff appeared along with military police officers in an attempt to survey the land last week.

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