Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Complaint rejected in high-profile land case

Complaint rejected in high-profile land case

Complaint rejected in high-profile land case

Villagers in Kampong Chhnang province who have been locked for years in a land dispute with a firm owned by the wife of a government minister said yesterday that the provincial court had rejected their attempt to file against the company.

The villagers say the firm is attempting to push them off their land illegally and that they first attempted to submit the complaint in 2009, though the complaint has not been processed as local officials turned down a request from the villagers to permit having their court fees waived.

Reach Seima, a representative for villagers in Kampong Chhnang’s Kampong Tralach district, Ta Chea commune, said villagers had sent a letter to the court earlier this month inquiring about the total court fee associated with their complaint.

Yesterday, however, he said he had received a call from Chhoun Sivin, director of the provincial court clerks, informing him that the complaint had been rejected because the villagers needed to file individual rather than joint complaints.

“The court said the complaint did not follow procedure because it was a joint complaint, and the court asked us to file complaints individually,” Reach Seima said.

“Why is it that when the complaint lodged a complaint against us, the court took quick action, but when we complain, the court does not take any action?”

Kampong Chhnang provincial court officials could not be reached for comment.

More than 100 families have been embroiled in a dispute over 140 hectares of land with KDC International – which is owned by Chea Kheng, the wife of Suy Sem, the Minister of Industry, Mines and Energy – for nearly a decade.

More than a dozen villagers and activists have been convicted for violations related to the conflict, with some forced to serve jail time. KDC officials could not be reached for comment.

In April 2009, Phnom Penh Municipal Court sentenced Toch Ly, the chief of Lorpeang village, located in Kampong Tralach district’s Ta Ches commune, to 16 months in prison for allegedly falsifying residents’ complaint documents in his attempts to advocate on their behalf.

In January, Reach Seima was convicted of disinformation for alleging that the company had cleared 140 hectares illegally, and Sam Chankea, provincial monitor for the rights group Adhoc, was convicted of defamation for similar comments. Both were ordered to pay millions of riel in fines and compensation.


  • Prince injured, wife dies after accident

    THE wife of former First Prime Minister Prince Norodom Ranariddh, Ouk Phalla, 39, died while the prince was “severely” injured following a road accident in Preah Sihanouk province’s Prey Nub district on Sunday morning, officials said. Rananriddh, who is also the president of the Funcinpec

  • Bun Heang mocks US, threatens its citizens in scathing open letter

    After being hit with sanctions from the US Department of Treasury, Cambodian General Hing Bun Heang said he would retaliate against any US national who does not respect his country’s sovereignty, has ambitions to invade Cambodia or incites “traitors” in the Kingdom to do

  • Police warn boycott FB group involved in the “Clean Fingers Campaign”

    Police said on Tuesday that they will pick up members of a Facebook group involved in the “Clean Fingers Campaign” that promotes a boycott of next month’s national elections. However, police merely planned to “educate” the group for now, but warned that if the

  • Ranariddh 'seriously injured', his wife dies in accident in Preah Sihanouk

    THE wife of former first prime minister Prince Norodom Ranariddh has died. Ouk Phalla succumbed to injuries sustained in a traffic accident on National Road 4 in Preah Sihanouk’s Prey Nub district this morning. She and the prince were immediately rushed to the Preah Sihanouk