Russey Keo district governor Chea Pisey on Wednesday denied claims that an underage boy was detained without cause earlier this week.
He also denied that Military Police destroyed the home of Meas Savoeun, an undersecretary at the Ministry of Justice.
However, witnesses in the area claimed Pisey was just covering up the truth of the incidents.
At a press conference, Pisey said the destruction case was, in fact, started by Savoeun, who was using a tractor to break a wall on his neighbour’s property to complete a construction project.
Lim Vanna, the wall’s owner, allegedly filed a complaint with authorities over its breaking.
Pisey further said that 10 workers at the site got a boy to go buy them some gasoline with the intent of starting a fire. Police then held the boy to prevent further damage.
At this point, he said the workers in Savoeun’s employ gathered sticks, knives and swords and began throwing rubbish at the officers.
But Thai Phanny, a nearby villager, told The Post that Pisey’s claims were meant to escape criticism. He claims officers beat the 10-year-old boy on the head until blood came from his ears, adding that there was collusion over the ownership of the land.
“The authorities colluded [with Lim Vanna] to forge documents against Savoeun and his workers to claim ownership of over 12,000 square metres. The land belonged to Savoeun,” Phanny claimed.
On Tuesday, Pisey led nearly 100 police officials to the site to investigate Vanna’s complaint that Savoeun was putting up an illegal construction on the land.
Neither Vanna nor Savoeun could be reached for comment on Wednesday.