Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Illness delays hearing of Chi Kraeng villagers




Illness delays hearing of Chi Kraeng villagers

Illness delays hearing of Chi Kraeng villagers

SIEM Reap provincial court has delayed for one week the trial of nine villagers from Chi Kraeng commune accused of trying to kill military police as part of a long-running land dispute in the area.

Sous Narin, an investigator for rights group Adhoc who observed yesterday’s proceedings, said Judge Chea Sok told the court that the hearing had been delayed because Chhay Kong, his fellow judge, was ill.

Hundreds of observers gathered outside the courthouse yesterday, which was under tight security and was closed to all but a few rights workers and local residents. The trial opened with a four-hour hearing last Tuesday in which the defendants pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted intentional manslaughter under Article 4 of the Law on Aggravating Circumstances of Felonies.

Bin Noeurn – the 56-year-old mother of Sek Soy, one of the nine accused – complained that the protracted nature of the case was putting a financial strain on villagers who had to pay US$5 to travel from their homes to the courthouse.

“I came to encourage my son and the other villagers,” she said. “My son has been in prison for more than a year, and I can’t imagine how difficult that is.”

The case is part of a dispute between villagers in Chi Kraeng and Anlong Samnor communes. Tension erupted in March of last year, when military police fired on Chi Kraeng villagers attempting to harvest rice on the disputed land, injuring four. No charges have been filed against any of the officers involved, but the nine villagers were charged after police accused them of threatening officers with machetes.

On Saturday, the nine Chi Kraeng villagers – and three others who have been arrested for separate offences related to the land dispute – wrote to Prime Minister Hun Sen asking for his intervention in the case.

MOST VIEWED

  • PM slams HRW ‘double standards’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has chided Human Rights Watch (HRW) Asia director Brad Adams for keeping quiet over protest crackdowns in the US following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25. Addressing reporters while inspecting infrastructure development in Preah Sihanouk province on Monday,

  • Four more UN troops infected by Covid virus

    Four more Cambodian Blue Helmet peacekeepers in Mali have been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus, bringing the number of infected Cambodian UN peacekeepers to 10. National Centre for Peacekeeping Forces and Explosive Remnants of War deputy director-general and spokeswoman Kosal Malinda told The Post on Tuesday

  • Huge tracks of undocumented land a concern for registration officials

    Siem Reap provincial deputy governor Ly Samrith expressed concern that land registration plans for residents scheduled to be completed by late 2021 could not be achieved because 80 per cent of the land had not been registered. Land dispute issues are a major factor that poses a

  • Seniority payments postponed

    The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training announced on Monday the postponement of seniority payments for workers prior to 2019 and new seniority payments for workers in 2020, opting to implement them next year instead. The ministry also asked more than 25,000 workers in the garment and tourism

  • Garment sector requests EU to postpone EBA withdrawal

    Representatives of apparel, footwear and travel goods producers and the EU business community in the Kingdom on Tuesday requested the European Commission (EC) to postpone its withdrawal of the Everything But Arms (EBA) preferential trade scheme for 12 months. The Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC),

  • Regions prepare to spread wings again

    As cases of Covid-19 begin to taper, it is natural that business travellers in the Asia-Pacific will want to fly again. For a region where trade anchors prosperity, this is as essential as reopening schools, shops and offices. Singapore has started talks with China, Malaysia,