The Russey Keo district administration warned it would bring a legal case against Khmer Rise Party (KRP) president Sok Sovann Vathana Sabung to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court if he does not rectify ‘untrue’ allegations on social media that its officials had seriously beaten a man over a land dispute.
In a Facebook post on Friday, Vathana Sabung alleged that a resident named Prum Bo who was involved in the land dispute in a development area in Russey Keo district was forcefully taken by car to the district hall, detained and beaten.
In response, the district administration said in a press release on Saturday that the post was misleading to the public because the story was completely one-sided, and was in fact created solely to slander the administration.
The original post, however, did not name any authorities.
The press release further said that on Friday, Bo, who was invited to the district hall to solve the dispute, prevented the district administration from implementing measures laid out by a working group.
The district administration said Bo had feigned serious illness and laid down at the hall meeting. An ambulance was called in to rescue him immediately and the working group handed him over to his family. The district officials assured the family that there was no violence.
“To provide true information for citizens, the Russey Keo district administration requests His Excellency Khmer Rise Party (KRP) president Sok Sovann Vathana Sabung rectifies the content of his original post, and disseminates true information instead.
“When necessary, His Excellency could come to the district hall directly and we can verify the truth with a video installed at the meeting room that captured all the events on CCTV. If he does not make the correction, the district administration will take legal action,” the press release said.
Russey Keo district governor Chea Pisey told The Post on Monday that the district administration had clear evidence in the video tape. The video showed clearly that the authorities had not used violence against him at all.
“The district hall will bring a legal case against [Vathana Sabung] to court if he still refuses to rectify the false allegations against our authorities. We don’t know what kind of disease Prum Bo has, or what was wrong with him that night, but our authorities didn’t use any violence against him. We have a video that proves this,” he said.
Vathana Sabung told The Post on Monday that he had nothing to clarify at the district administration. He said there was clear evidence he was beaten, which included testaments from the man and the doctor who treated him.
Bo could not be reached for comment on Monday.