Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Farmer released after land dispute scuffle

Farmer released after land dispute scuffle

Farmer released after land dispute scuffle

Military police in Kampong Cham province yesterday released a man they arrested after an alleged physical altercation with another man over a years-long land dispute in nearby Tbong Khmum province.

On Friday morning, Phun Chhoeurn, 55, had hired another man to plough land for a rice paddy on part of a 475-hectare patch in Tbong Khmum’s Dambe district. Chinese-owned Hameniven Investment and 58 local families both claim ownership of the property.

Local authorities issued an order on March 16 that neither Hameniven nor villagers could clear any land there until the dispute was resolved.

Joined by three others from Hameniven, Chinese national San Chhing Huy, 35, stopped the tractor and began an argument with Chhoeurn that escalated to violence, said Sum Sophal, 46, who drove the tractor.

“The Chinese man jumped off a motorbike and choked Phun Chhoeurn from behind,” Sophal said.

“He tried to break free, and injured the Chinese man’s eye.”

Acting on a complaint, police arrested Chhoeurn later that day, said Mean Prom Mony, a coordinator for rights group Adhoc.

Chhoeurn was released yesterday due to health problems, including high blood pressure, said Huot Vuthy, prosecutor for Kampong Cham Provincial Court, which is handling the case because Tbong Khmum lacks a functioning court.

“We will launch an immediate probe, but we do not know whether [Chhoeurn] will be charged,” Prom Mony said.

MOST VIEWED

  • US think tank warns of China's 'ulterior motives'

    A US think tank on Tuesday warned that spreading Chinese investment in the Indo-Pacific follows a pattern of leveraging geopolitical influence at the expense of the nations receiving investment, including Cambodia. The report looks at a sample of 15 Chinese port development projects, noting that the

  • More than three tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia seized in Mozambique

    A total of 3.5 tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia was seized by authorities in Mozambique late last week, according to the NGO Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). CITES' information was based on a report from the

  • Defence Ministry denies weapons in smuggling case came from Cambodia

    After a Thai national was arrested last week for allegedly smuggling guns from Cambodia to Thailand, Cambodia's Defence Ministry has claimed the weapons seized during the arrest are not used in Cambodia, despite the fact that both types of rifle seized are commonly found in

  • Shipwreck found off coast of Koh Kong

    Royal Cambodian Navy researchers are working to identify a decades-old shipwreck found earlier this month off the coast of Koh Kong province. Divers found the 70-metre-long wreck on April 4 about a mile from Koh Chhlam island, according to Navy officials. Deputy Navy Commander Tea Sokha,