Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Disgraced general begs premier’s forgiveness

Disgraced general begs premier’s forgiveness

Disgraced general begs premier’s forgiveness

Disgraced three-star general and Ministry of Interior adviser Doeun Sovann wrote a letter to Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday apologising for his alleged role in a land dispute that saw him charged with threatening villagers and interfering with land measurement volunteers, according to a copy obtained by the Post.

As penance, he wrote, he would donate his land to the government.

Ly Lip Meng, an investigating judge with the Pursat Provincial Court, said that Sovann was charged on Tuesday after allegedly asking officials in Pursat’s Veal Veng district and Thmar Da commune on October 2 to assign volunteers to measure land that he purportedly bought in 2008, but was still being occupied by the previous owners.

Ten days later, in a speech, Hun Sen called for Sovann’s dismissal and the removal of his rank, saying that the land measurement directive required volunteers to find in favour of villagers. He has since been sacked and his stars stripped.

In his letter, Sovann maintained that official documents showed he had bought the land, but acknowledged that asking volunteers to measure it had been a “mistake due to . . .  a misunderstanding of the procedure of land measurement”.

“To avoid further conflict, I would like to give the 52-hectare plot of land to the government without any conditions,” the letter read.

Judge Lip Meng said that a second summons for Sovann to be questioned was in the works, but that the ex-general had not been arrested.

Before today’s letter surfaced, provincial police chief Sarun Chanty said that he was unaware of Sovann purchasing the land, but said, “if he did really buy it ... he has the right to use it, or live on it, or sell it to other people as he wishes”.

National Police spokesman Kirth Chantharith confirmed that Sovann’s rank had been stripped, and that he had been expelled from the National Police, but declined to comment further.

Kong Samath, a penal police officer in Phnom Penh, said that, as of yesterday, police were watching Sovann’s home should the court call for his arrest.

To contact the reporter on this story: Buth Reaksmey Kongkea at [email protected]
Cheang Sokha contributed to this report.

MOST VIEWED

  • Police seek arrest of Chinese ‘gang’

    Cambodian police remain on the lookout for 20 Chinese nationals who earlier this month posted a video clip threatening to stoke insecurity in Preah Sihanouk province, though the Chinese Embassy in Phnom Penh maintained the group posed no threats to Cambodia’s national security. National Police

  • Rapper deletes song critical of Cambodian social issues

    A young musician has deleted from Facebook and YouTube a rap song that was critical of Cambodia’s social issues and announced that he will stop singing the song after officials visited his home in Siem Reap province and allegedly gave him a warning. Provincial

  • Sihanoukville authority orders structure dismantled

    The Preah Sihanouk provincial administration has ordered owners of two unauthorised construction sites to immediately dismantle them and warned of legal action if the owners failed to comply. Ly Chet Niyom, development management and construction bureau chief at the provincial hall, told The Post on

  • Man arrested for fake PM endorsement

    The owner of currency exchange company GCG Asia Co Ltd was temporarily detained by the court yesterday for attempted fraud after Prime Minister Hun Sen reacted to the company using his name and pictures to allege his endorsement of the firm. Phnom Penh Municipal Court