Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Hun Sen: Dismiss Koki clash officials if they abused power

Hun Sen: Dismiss Koki clash officials if they abused power

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Prime Minister Hun Sen attends a meeting of the Supreme Consultation Forum at the Peace Palace on Thursday. Photo supplied

Hun Sen: Dismiss Koki clash officials if they abused power

Prime Minister Hun Sen has ordered the ministries of Interior and National Defence to investigate senior military and provincial officials in Preah Sihanouk province over their alleged involvement in clashes between members of the security forces and villagers.

The officials in question include a military commander and a deputy provincial governor after the implementation of a Supreme Court ruling over a long-running land dispute turned violent.

The prime minster ordered the ministries to dismiss the two unidentified officials if they are found to have abused their power.

The case involves a Supreme Court ruling in 2017, judging that ownership of a disputed area measuring 71ha in Koki village in Prey Nop district’s Bit Traing commune be returned to the original nine families after it been bought and sold since 1993.

As payment was not made in full, the families ended the sale and continued to own the land, the court ruled. The main cause of the confrontation on January 24 was a 26ha area that remained under dispute.

A man was shot, sustaining serious injuries, during the clashes between nearly 300 villagers and 200 security personnel when residents attempted to stop authorities entering the land.

During a meeting of the Supreme Consultation Forum at the Peace Palace on Thursday, Hun Sen said the court’s ruling ordering the demarcation of the land was supposed to be implemented by the judicial police and not the armed forces.

Ministry of National Defence spokesman General Chhum Socheat said the ministry is probing the military commander’s involvement.

“We are working and implementing the order of Samdech [Hun Sen],” he said.

Government spokesman Phay Siphan told The Post on Thursday that the prime minister had spent nearly the entire meeting expressing his frustration with the two officials.

“Hun Sen talked a lot about the land dispute. He pointed out irregularities as to why they sent armed soldiers out of their base to resolve the issue,” he said.

He continued that the violent crackdown on civilians needed to be investigated to ascertain the circumstances.

“Why does the deputy provincial governor not know whether the land is state land or private land? Why did they need to send armed soldiers in because it is a problem for justice officials? Why have the Military Police been sent to the site?” he quoted the prime minister as saying.

Khmer Rise Party leader Sok Sovann Vathana Sabung, in attendance at the meeting, wrote on Facebook that his party was disappointed with the incident of police violence in the land dispute.

Ministry of Interior spokesman Khieu Sopheak on Thursday said the ministry “supports Hun Sen’s statement” and will follow the prime minister’s orders immediately.

MOST VIEWED

  • Archeologists find ancient phallic statue

    An archeological team has found a metre-long tipless stone linga (penis) of the Hindu deity Shiva in the foundations of a temple in Kratie province’s historical Samphu Borak area, a former capital of the pre-Angkor Empire Chenla period. Thuy Chanthourn, the deputy director of

  • Man arrested for fake PM endorsement

    The owner of currency exchange company GCG Asia Co Ltd was temporarily detained by the court yesterday for attempted fraud after Prime Minister Hun Sen reacted to the company using his name and pictures to allege his endorsement of the firm. Phnom Penh Municipal Court

  • Sihanoukville authority orders structure dismantled

    The Preah Sihanouk provincial administration has ordered owners of two unauthorised construction sites to immediately dismantle them and warned of legal action if the owners failed to comply. Ly Chet Niyom, development management and construction bureau chief at the provincial hall, told The Post on

  • Police seek arrest of Chinese ‘gang’

    Cambodian police remain on the lookout for 20 Chinese nationals who earlier this month posted a video clip threatening to stoke insecurity in Preah Sihanouk province, though the Chinese Embassy in Phnom Penh maintained the group posed no threats to Cambodia’s national security. National Police