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Villagers rally against verdict

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Representatives of 42 families in Tuol Kork district protest yesterday against a Supreme Court verdict to remove their houses from a 6,000 square metre area of land claimed by a government official.

Forty-two families in Phnom Penh’s Russei Keo district yesterday appealed to Prime Minister Hun Sen to intervene in the enforcement of a Supreme Court verdict today that will award land in Tuol Sangke commune’s Tuol Kork village to a former Funcinpec minister.

Villagers said yesterday that they bought the land from former Preah Vihear provincial governor Meas Savoeun five or six years ago after Meas Savoeun won the land from former Funcinpec minister Khun Haing, now a member of the ruling Cambodian People’s Party, and his counterpart Chao Va in a court case.

Villager Van Socheat said that his purchase of the land was recognised by commune authorities.

“I bought that land from Meas Savoeun that recognised by commune authority,” said Van Socheat.

Villagers claimed that that Khun Haing had faked documents to obtain the land.

A letter, signed by Russei Keo district governor Klaing Huot and obtained by The Post yesterday, stated that district authorities would cooperate with municipal court prosecutors to enforce the verdict today, but listed Tuol Sangke village instead of Tuol Kork village.

According to a verdict from 2004, Phnom Penh municipal court judge Un Bunna awarded 6,000 square metres of land in Tuol Kork village to Meas Savoeun’s wife Tang Chhun Eng.

Tuol Kork village chief Pol Dy said that Meas Savoeun took Khun Haing’s land.

“I don’t know the skill of court that decided this case for Meas Savoeun to win,” said Pol Dy.

Neither Klaing Huot nor Khun Haing could be reached for comment yesterday.

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