Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Logging complaint filed

Logging complaint filed

Logging complaint filed

Nine Phnong ethnic community representatives and a senior Adhoc officer jointly filed a lawsuit yesterday at the Mondulkiri Provincial Court against eight local officials they allege have turned a blind eye to illegal logging in the Phnom Nam Lyr wildlife sanctuary.

The suit follows their inspection last month of the sanctuary in Pech Chreada and O’Raing districts, where they claim to have uncovered a 1,000-hectare patch of forest that had been felled.

The lawsuit was filed by nine individuals from nine villages in Bousraa and Dak Dam communes, along with Pen Bunnar, land and natural resources official at rights group Adhoc.

The defendants include village, commune and district chiefs as well as local environment department officials. Kreung Tola, representative of the Ethnic Minority Community Network in Mondulkiri, alleged local authorities were ultimately responsible for the clearing, if only by neglect.

“They had no measures to prevent the crime and protect the forest,” Tola said. “The forest is under their administration.”

Bunnar said he filed the complaint to prevent forests from being cleared in the future and to urge the court to punish those behind the crime.

“Any person, government official or organisation, has right to file a complaint to protect the state’s public land,” he said. Han Khorn, director at the Phnom Nam Lry wildlife sanctuary, denied officials had been neglectful in their duties.

Last month, provincial environment department director Keo Sopheak admitted a few hectares were cleared, but far less than 1,000.

MOST VIEWED

  • Stock photo agencies cash in on Khmer Rouge tragedy
    Stock-photo companies selling images from S-21 raises ethics concerns

    A woman with short-cropped hair stares directly into the camera, her head cocked slightly to the side. On her lap is a sleeping infant just barely in the frame. The woman was the wife of a Khmer Rouge officer who fell out of favour, and

  • US think tank warns of China's 'ulterior motives'

    A US think tank on Tuesday warned that spreading Chinese investment in the Indo-Pacific follows a pattern of leveraging geopolitical influence at the expense of the nations receiving investment, including Cambodia. The report looks at a sample of 15 Chinese port development projects, noting that the

  • Defence Ministry denies weapons in smuggling case came from Cambodia

    After a Thai national was arrested last week for allegedly smuggling guns from Cambodia to Thailand, Cambodia's Defence Ministry has claimed the weapons seized during the arrest are not used in Cambodia, despite the fact that both types of rifle seized are commonly found in

  • More than three tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia seized in Mozambique

    A total of 3.5 tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia was seized by authorities in Mozambique late last week, according to the NGO Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). CITES' information was based on a report from the