A COURT decision forcing former Hotel Renakse manager Kem Chantha to close her business was upheld in the Phnom Penh Appeal Court today after the plaintiff failed to appear in court.
Kem Chantha’s lease was revoked because of building-code violations over one year ago, after she had a falling out with the building’s owners – the Cambodian People’s Party.
The CPP’s attorney in the dispute, Khiev Sepphan, said he was mystified as to why Kem Chantha failed to attend her own appeal proceedings.
“She and her lawyer weren’t present. I don’t know what happened,” he said. Kem Chantha had operated the hotel for over two decades and had a lease valid until 2050.
Her lawyer, Chong Iv Heng, refused to comment on the reason for her absence, stating that they were busy. Kem Chantha was also unavailable for comment on Wednesday.
Khiev Sepphan said the Renakse building was closed by Phnom Penh Municipal Court because of safety concerns about the integrity of the structure, which is more than 100 years old.
“In construction at that time, there was no cement so it was constructed with white lime using bamboo as a core without metal, so when it causes a problem to clients, who will be responsible?”
A municipal land management directive stipulates that buildings over 100 years old in poor condition must be closed because they are a public hazard.