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Hearings delayed in land dispute cases

Hearings delayed in land dispute cases

Pursat provincial court has postponed until January 27 a hearing originally set for Monday after six villagers from Krakor district involved in a land dispute with a development company requested time to secure legal representation, a village representative said yesterday.

The six, from Ansar Chambak commune, were summonsed to the court after local conglomerate Pheapimex Group – owned by Choeung Sopheap, the wife of ruling party senator Lao Meng Khin – filed a complaint accusing them of destroying private property.

One of the villagers, Lach Saran, said yesterday that villagers had last week received permission to delay the hearing.

The dispute began in 2008, when Pheapimex began bulldozing land for development. In January 2000, the company was granted a 315,028-hectare land concession spanning Pursat and Kampong Chhnang provinces.

In an unrelated case, Kampong Chhnang provincial court yesterday delayed announcing a verdict for Adhoc provincial coordinator Sam Chankea, who was charged with disinformation and defamation following complaints made by development company KDC International in June.

The charges stem from a December 2009 interview in which Sam Chankea suggested that KDC’s clearance of disputed land in Kampong Chhnang province may have been illegal.

A verdict is expected to be handed down on January 25.

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