Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Villagers file ACU complaint

Villagers file ACU complaint

Villagers file ACU complaint

Representatives for 29 families from Preah Sihanouk province have lodged two complaints to the Anticorruption Unit, accusing officials at the Koh Kong provincial court and the National Authority for Land Dispute Resolution of corruption in connection with a 2008 land dispute.

One complaint dated Monday and obtained yesterday by The Post alleged that corruption was at the root of NALDR “inaction” in addressing the dispute, which involved land in Stung Hav district’s Tomnup Rolok commune in Preah Sihanouk province, part of Koh Kong province until last year.

Another complaint dated February 28 said various Koh Kong provincial court officials were involved in forging documents and bribery.

The allegations stem from a land dispute between 29 families and tycoon Cheam Phen that has dragged on for about five years and resulted in the jailing of 10 villagers.

The Koh Kong provincial court sentenced eight villagers to 18 months in prison and fined them 20 million riel (US$4,959). Two other villagers earned two-year sentences and remain in prison.

The complaint against the court officials said that the court allowed the case to proceed with falsified documents made by a third party and did not hear evidence against the legitimacy of the documents.

Villagers said in the March complaint that the NALDR’s inaction showed it was just as guilty as the court.

They also called for intervention to secure the release of the two villagers still in prison, Chin Preksa and Chin Sovandeth, and the full exoneration of the other eight.

Last month’s complaint against the court said several officials – including Chief Clerk So Sovannara and prosecutor Meas Vathana, as well as investigating judges Oeung Sarin, Huon Many and Heng Kesaro – faked the documents in two criminal trials related to the land dispute in February and September 2008.

Him Sarath, a representative of families living in Tomnup Rolok commune, said Koh Kong court officials had summoned the eight villagers for questioning, but instead asked them to thumb-print documents which over 30 hectares of land from each person to Cheam Phen. In exchange, court officials gave each villager US$100, said Him Sarath.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • PM warns party of complacency in leaked audio

    Two leaked audio tapes, purportedly of Prime Minister Hun Sen speaking candidly to senior officials, appear to hint at insecurities within the ruling party over the controversial dissolution of the country’s main opposition, with the premier warning that the party’s “struggle” didn’t

  • Government approves plan to relocate Phnom Penh’s airport

    The government has signed off on a proposal to build a new airport to serve Phnom Penh and has earmarked land in Kandal province for the $1.5 billion project. A new international airport to replace the existing Phnom Penh International Airport will be constructed on partially

  • Music festival promises big stage, has even bigger hopes

    With a line-up of local and international artists, and a massive outdoor venue booked on Koh Pich, or Diamond Island, Saturday’s Diamond Moon Festival is aiming to showcase contemporary musical and artistic talents at a scale rarely seen in the Kingdom. [img] But the