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Chi Kraeng hearing postponed

Chi Kraeng hearing postponed

Siem Reap province
SIEM Reap provincial court yesterday postponed a hearing in the case against nine Chi Kraeng commune villagers who have been charged with robbery in connection with an ongoing land dispute.

The charges stem from a March 22, 2009, altercation involving armed forces and the residents of Chi Kraeng and neighbouring Anlong Samnor commune. The two communes have been embroiled in a land dispute that dates back to 1986, and that has resulted in a series of altercations ever since officials ruled last year that the land in question belonged to Anlong Samnor.

Presiding Judge Ith Samphos said yesterday that the hearing would need to be rescheduled because some of the judges had investigated aspects of the case, and consequently could not rule on the hearings.

“There are five to six different Chi Kraeng cases, and some judges are investigators, and some judges are conducting hearings, so there is some confusion,” he said. He did not announce a new date for the hearing.

All nine suspects were acquitted of robbery in a related case last year. They have remained behind bars pending an appeal. On Tuesday, the Appeal Court in Phnom Penh postponed a hearing in that case, also because judges that were to preside over it had participated in investigations.