Kampong Speu landowner Nuon Chan Makara promised on Monday to settle an ongoing land dispute with local citizens after five years of fighting her husband in court.
Kampong Speu governor Vei Samnang told The Post that she promised authorities and an assistant to Prime Minister Hun Sen that she would return the land to 38 families who bought 1,100ha from her in 2016 at Dambouk Roung commune, Phnom Sruoch district.
“She promised in front of a team of officials and a personal assistant to Prime Minister Hun Sen, Duong Dara, [that] she would solve the dispute with citizens who bought land and return money or land.
“Those who want land, she will give them land. Those who want money will receive money. She is keen to solve the problem,” Samnang said.
Duong Dara posted on Facebook last Thursday that Chan Makara has had a dispute over the land with her German husband Rainer Maria Wollny. Chan Makara and her husband decided to settle their case with each party receiving 50 per cent.
Thirty-eight families on Friday claimed that they bought 779ha of land for $1.1 million from Chan Makara. They asked for intervention from Prime Minister Hun Sen after learning that Chan Makara and her husband agreed on a settlement, but did not solve the land dispute with them (the people).
In the petition, the citizens said more than 700ha were bought with acknowledgement from village, commune and district chiefs that they owned the land. They paved the road, ploughed, dug canals and ponds and planted various crops costing $6.2 million more.
But in April last year, Wollny, the director of Delta W Trading Co Ltd sued them to take the land back and sued his wife for faking documents to sell the land to the 38 families.
Chan Makara declined to comment on Monday, claiming that she was busy.
Wollny’s lawyer, Phonn Thearin, said his client invested in Cambodia because he loves the country.
Chan Makara served as general manager in charge of finance at Delta W Trading Co Ltd, according to the lawyer.
The couple did not sign a wedding certificate and the land dispute arose out of a claim that Chan Makara forged company documents, including land ownership documents at the end of 2015. She also faked a document that the company had given her the right to sell the land to the people, Thearin said.
The lawyer said his client accepted the solution and took back only 50 per cent as he is already old and he wants to spend the remainder of his life focused on investing in agriculture, which he loves.
“He is already 74 years old and he does not want to spend the rest of his life fighting this in court,” he said.