Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - General ordered by court to dig out soil in Koh Kong land grab




General ordered by court to dig out soil in Koh Kong land grab

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The Koh Kong Provincial Court has temporarily suspended the business of two-star major general Tun Dieth and ordered him to dig out the soil which he had filled in a canal in Khemarak Phoumin city. Fresh News

General ordered by court to dig out soil in Koh Kong land grab

The Koh Kong Provincial Court has temporarily suspended the business of two-star major general Tun Dieth and ordered him to dig out the soil with which he had filled in a canal in Khemarak Phoumin city’s Smach Meanchey commune after he was accused of land grabbing.

The decision was made after provincial court prosecutor Ros Saram, along with relevant authorities and specialists, conducted a site inspection on Monday of the disputed area on the orders of Prime Minister Hun Sen.

Records from the inspection said a joint working group had found that Dieth had filled the Prek Kaoh Pao canal with sand, soil and rubble without authorisation, thus violating the Land Law.

“The prosecutor ordered Dieth to dig out the soil, rubble and sand, and demolish the wooden dock, as well as remove the wooden posts that had been planted along the edge of Prek Kaoh Pao to restore it to its original state.

“In addition, the prosecutor decided to suspend land reclamation activities pending a ruling from the court,” the court records said. It added that action would be taken against Dieth and his family in accordance with the law.

Provincial court spokesman Un Sovan Theany on Tuesday declined to provide details about the case in light of the ongoing investigation.

While awaiting judgement, the working group said they would continue to stay at the site to provide assistance in dredging the sand and soil used to fill the canal.

Police are using two excavators and four trucks to remove the soil, and are looking for additional machinery to speed up the work.

Provincial spokesman Sok Sothy told The Post on Tuesday that soil dredging from the canal, covering an area of 3m by 43m could be completed by Thursday.

“He [Dieth] is yet to be detained. He’s still collaborating with the authorities to remove the soil. We will wait for the court to decide on the next steps,” said Sothy.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Hun Sen ordered Minister of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction Chea Sophara and provincial governor Phouthong Mithona to act against Dieth.

Hun Sen also warned that Dieth will be removed from his position if found guilty of the alleged land grab.

Rights group Adhoc provincial coordinator Bi Vanny praised the move and insisted that further measures must also be taken against officials who abused their power to circumvent the law.

“Law enforcement seems to have double standards. If officials violate the law, they simply sign an agreement promising that they will follow the law. So they seem to ignore it.

“The law is only enforced against ordinary citizens. It’s only when the prime minister orders it that they take action against officials as well,” said Vanny.

In a Facebook post on Tuesday, Cambodian Youth Party president Pich Sros, who had previously visited the disputed area, said the law must be enforced strictly against Dieth because it stipulates that state officials who embezzle state properties must be punished more severely than ordinary citizens.

They can even be charged with treason, said Sros.

He also called on civil servants to participate in preserving the state and its property.

“Please don’t wait for the head of state to step in on your behalf and address offences before you take action. You have the authority to enforce the law yourselves,” said Sros.

Watch video:

MOST VIEWED

  • PM: West unfair to Cambodia

    Prime Minister Hun Sen released a message celebrating the International Day of Peace on Monday, saying that some major powers and western countries had been systemically cooperating to put political pressure on Cambodia as they did in the 1970s and 1980s. Hun Sen said pressuring

  • ‘Bad news is an investor’s best friend’ – unlocking investment potential in Cambodia

    It is time to shop. Economic woes provide good pickings for investors if they know where to look The poem If, written by English Nobel laureate poet and novelist Rudyard Kipling for his son circa 1895, is widely perceived as fatherly advice for John who would

  • First ‘mobile kitchen’ in Cambodia enters service

    A catering company recently rolled out Cambodia’s first “mobile kitchen” – a $50,000 container capable of serving up to 200 people at a time. The kitchen is the brainchild of Seng Hok Heng Catering Services. At 4.4m-high, 6.8m-long and 2.4m-wide (expandable to 6.8m), the kitchen is equipped

  • Kingdom, China rebut basis for US sanctions

    The Council for the Development of Cambodia, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and Tianjin Union Investment Development Group Co Ltd (Tianjin) have responded to US sanctions on Union Development Group Co Ltd (UDG), a Chinese-owned company currently developing the sprawling $3.8 billion Dara

  • PM requests Russia’s Covid vaccine

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has requested that Russia provide Cambodia with its Covid-19 vaccine after the former announced it planned on mass vaccinating its population next month. The request came on Thursday through the prime minister’s Facebook page as he met with Anatoly Borovik,

  • Influenza breaks out in eight provinces

    Nearly 600 people have been infected with influenza in eight provinces in the past month, Ministry of Health spokesperson Or Vandine said. The ministry is advising extreme caution. A report released by Vandine on Saturday said the Ministry of Health observed transmissions of influenza between August 15