The Kratie Provincial Court yesterday questioned Adhoc staffer Pen Bonnar – and announced plans to summons relevant authorities – regarding a lawsuit he filed, along with 30 locals, accusing two prominent businessmen of clearing state land.
Bonnar and the 30 villagers and land activists in Kratie’s Prek Prasap district sued Lim Bunna and Buth Bun Eng in January, accusing them of clearing more than 3,000 hectares of state-owned jungle.
Bonnar said that deputy prosecutor Hak Horn questioned him yesterday for about an hour regarding his motives in lodging the lawsuit, the jungle site and his evidence.
The land’s designation as state land was backed up by a government-issued map, Bonnar maintained, and its clearing and development were not authorised by any official order.
“The state-owned jungle was cleared. I saw rubber trees on it now. More jungle has had the same fate,” Bonnar said he told the prosecutor.
Horn said yesterday that he plans to summons officials and witnesses, and had already questioned lawyers representing the two men in March. The lawyers, he continued, had denied the two had anything to do with the land, adding that to him, the plaintiffs’ case seemed weak.
Sek Bun Heng, Prek Prasap district governor, allowed that clearing state land was illegal, but insisted Bunna and Bun Eng’s property did not include the area the villagers alleged.