Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Preah Vihear court drops charges against villagers

Preah Vihear court drops charges against villagers

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The Preah Vihear Provincial Court has dropped all charges against eight ethnic Kuoy villagers who were in a land dispute with the Hengfu Group Sugar Industry Co Ltd since 2014. Facebook

Preah Vihear court drops charges against villagers

The Preah Vihear Provincial Court has dropped all charges against eight ethnic Kuoy villagers who were in a land dispute with the Hengfu Group Sugar Industry Co Ltd since 2014.

Wednesday’s decision was made by the judge who tried the case on June 10. The eight were accused of detention and illegal confinement.

Defence lawyer Sam Tithseyha told The Post on Thursday it was the right decision because they are the victims and this decision shows their innocence as they are not guilty of the charges and have good names in society.

He said the court’s decision is a sign of a reformed system that delivers justice.

“The decision to let my clients go free is appreciated, and I suggest it serve as a model to all other provincial and municipal courts to keep as an example to find the truth in land conflicts between citizens and powerful men and companies,” he said.

In 2014, many citizens living at the Boss Thom village, Brame commune, Tbeng Meanchey district were having land conflicts with Heng Fu and two company bulldozers were allegedly seized.

After this happened, 16 citizens, including 14 ethnic Kuoy villagers, were accused of detention and illegal confinement.

One official from the Ponlok Khmer NGO was accused of conspiracy following a complaint from the bulldozer drivers of the Chinese company.

As the lawsuit and protests dragged on, the official and some citizens had their charges dropped by the court, Adhoc coordinator Lor Chan in Preah Vihear province told The Post.

Chan called Wednesday’s final decision good news for the community and the accused.

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia maintains 'Kun Khmer' stance despite Thailand’s boycott threat

    Cambodia has taken the position that it will use the term "Kun Khmer" to refer to the sport of kickboxing at the upcoming Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, and has removed the term Muay from all references to the sport. Despite strong reactions from the Thai

  • Chinese group tours return to Cambodia starting Feb 6

    Cambodia is among 20 countries selected by Beijing for a pilot programme allowing travel agencies to provide international group tours as well as flight and hotel packages to Chinese citizens, following a three-year ban. As the days tick down until the programme kicks off on February 6,

  • Capital-Poipet express rail project making headway

    The preliminary results of a feasibility study to upgrade the Phnom Penh-Poipet railway into Cambodia’s first express railway indicate that the project would cost more than $4 billion and would take around four years to complete. The study was carried out by China Road and

  • Thai boxers to join SEA Games’ Kun Khmer event

    The Cambodian SEA Games Organising Committee (CAMSOC) – together with the Kun Khmer International Federation (KKIF) and Khmer Boxing Federation – have achieved a “great success” by including Kun Khmer in the upcoming biennial multi-sports event on its home soil for the first time, said a senior

  • Bullets to bracelets: Siem Reap man makes waste from war wearable

    Jewellery is often made from valuable gemstones like emeralds or diamonds and precious metals like gold or silver, or valueless things like animal horns. But a man in Siem Reap has approached the manufacture of delicate pieces from a different angle. His unique form of

  • 61% of 2022 imports came from just 3 markets

    The three largest exporters to Cambodia – mainland China, Vietnam and Thailand – accounted for 60.94 per cent of the Kingdom’s total merchandise imports last year, at $18.245 billion, which was up 11.99 per cent over 2021, according to the General Department of Customs and Excise. Cambodia’s total imports