Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Adhoc to investigate alleged death threat

Adhoc to investigate alleged death threat

Adhoc to investigate alleged death threat

Ethnic Tampuon representatives from Ratanakkiri’s Borkeo district have called for assistance from rights group Adhoc following alleged death threats made by their commune chief, who they accuse of selling off communal land for personal gain.

Four representatives of a group of 50 families in Kleu village, Seung commune, filed a lawsuit Thursday against the commune chief, Ro Mam Tham. The villagers claim he then threatened to kill them.

Adhoc first took the plaintiffs’ case to court in March, claiming that Mam Tham sold a 52-by-72-metre plot of communal land in Kleu to a Mr Meng for $10,000. Two weeks ago, the court dismissed the case.

One of the plaintiffs, Ting Keo, 30, said yesterday that Mam Tham had grown angry when he learned the protesters were appealing the court’s decision.

“As soon as he found out that we filed the lawsuit against him [with Adhoc], the commune chief got furious and loudly threatened to kill us and said he will pester us, too,” Ting Keo told the Post yesterday.

Chhay Thy, Ratanakkiri provincial coordinator for Adhoc, said that he would investigate the case and a new lawsuit would be filed to the court next week on the villagers’ behalf.

“The commune chief knows the law and he should face the villagers in court, not threaten the villagers like that,” Chhay Thy said.

Mam Tham denied that he had threatened the villagers. Instead, he claimed that the villagers demanded he hand over the disputed land to them, adding that they even went so far as to threaten him and the local police chief.

“The reason the court dismissed the case was because I have made no mistakes. I sold the land for only $7,000 and the money was spent to renovate the fences, commune hall and toilets,” he said.

According to Adhoc, the villagers transferred 1.5 hectares of land in Kleu to Mam Tham to be used for the construction of a commune hall, but the commune chief subsequently sold part of the land to a private party.

MOST VIEWED

  • Kingdom may hire Turkish power ship

    Cambodia is considering negotiating with Turkey to hire a 200MW-capacity power ship to meet electricity demands as the country faces an ongoing electrical shortage, according to the prime minister. Speaking to garment workers in Pursat province on Wednesday, Prime Minister Hun Sen said Electricite du

  • Woman who scaled Cambodia’s three highest peaks eyes Everest

    One of the very few Cambodian women to have successfully reached the Kingdom’s three highest peaks is now eyeing Malaysia’s tallest mountain, Mount Kinabalu, and potentially even the world’s tallest straddling Nepal and China, Mount Everest. While in many Western countries it

  • EDC tackles power shortfall

    Electrcite Du Cambodge (EDC) on Monday issued a statement updating the public on its efforts to tackle insufficient electricity supplies during the ongoing dry season. Reductions in electricity prices have resulted in a steady increase in consumers in the Kingdom, while local and international investors

  • Cheap, clean and efficient: The firm leading Cambodia’s solar revolution

    Sitting in her bright and airy 17th floor office, Rithya Menon, Okra Smart Solar’s lead firmware engineer, checks the frequently updating data telling her everything about how well their community services are operating. “I saw in the data that there was a problem with