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National Police chief shakes up land dispute working group

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National Police chief Neth Savoeun during a meeting at the interior ministry. INTERIOR MINISTRY

National Police chief shakes up land dispute working group

National police chief Neth Savoeun has changed the composition of the working group for land dispute investigation and prevention of illegal encroachment of state land nationwide, including the appointment of deputy National Police chief Dy Vichea as chairman of the group.

The decision was signed by Savoeun on August 24 and released to the public on August 28.

The working group consists of 21 members including Vichea and his four deputies.

The working group has been tasked with gathering information about incitement, support for protests, and act of instigating land disputes or inciting others to encroach on state land that causes unrest.

The working group needs to target people involved in criminal activities in order to prevent the recurrence of the same crimes.

The working group must evaluate each case and request approval from the National Police to launch an investigation and file a case to court according to procedures. The group must also summarise the results of monthly operations and report to the National Police.

Pen Bonnar, local community empowerment for officer rights group Adhoc, hoped that the new working group will work harder to effectively investigate cases of state land encroachment and land disputes.

He said that in the past the resolution of land disputes has not been transparent.

“In the past, judicial police officers did not fully investigate cases, and there are still many gaps. Thus, if this working group works effectively and sends cases related to state land and land disputes to court in a transparent manner, then it will not be difficult,” he said.

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