Anlong Veng district governor Hor Chin Virakyuth faces a jail sentence of between six and 24 months and a fine of between 1.5 and 25 million riel ($375-$6,250) if found guilty on charges of “infringement against ownership”.
The alleged offence occurred at O’Chenh Chian village, Anlong Veng commune, Anlong Veng district, in Oddar Meanchey province in June.
Oddar Meanchey Provincial Court spokesman Hang Hydra said there is no investigating judge to work on this case as yet.
Chin Virakyuth on Wednesday told The Post that he was charged because he was absent in court due to other activities in Phnom Penh, despite receiving two summonses to attend. However, he claimed to have sent a notice to the court to delay the hearing.
The case involves Seng Son, a private company that received more than 80,000sqm as an economic land concession to develop Anlong Veng market in 2004.
The government withdrew the concession after an inter-ministerial committee found that the company did not follow the agreement.
It then measured the land and gave it to the local people and vendors in December last year.
Nou Keo Phuong Nary, 53, a resident in O’Chenh Chian village, said the story goes back more than 10 years to 2008 when the Seng Son Company had an internal conflict.
“I bought four small stalls, 4mx8m each for $25,500. But company representative Ok Run did not recognise mine or other people’s sales-and-purchase agreements with the company which led to protests in Phnom Penh."
“After this, Prime Minister Hun Sen revoked the economic land concession to the company. And a committee was established to give the land to the people."
But until now, the company continues to complain that the villagers are illegally violating its land,” he said.