The governor of Kandal’s Kien Svay district has come to the defence of Oknha Lok Hour, whose name was the first to be added last week to a Land Management Ministry “blacklist” over land grabbing allegations.
Land developer Hour has repeatedly come under fire over five separate land disputes in Kandal province’s Sa’ang and Kien Svay districts, causing Provincial Governor Mao Pirun to call upon the governors of both districts last Thursday to freeze the land until such time as the disputes are resolved.
Hour’s blacklisting, which came just days after Pirun’s statement, barred him from registering or transferring any land, and established a special committee to resolve his current disputes.
But Kien Svay District Governor Ou Chheang came to Hour’s defence yesterday, saying the committee had found overlapping commune jurisdictions were to blame rather than foul play.
He said administrative vacuums allowed residents of neighbouring communes to buy the same plot of land twice, which he said was the cause of Hour’s disputes.
Land Management Ministry spokesmen declined to comment yesterday.