Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Preah Vihear locals in court over arson accusations

Preah Vihear locals in court over arson accusations

Preah Vihear locals in court over arson accusations

A Malaysian company demanded compensation from 12 Preah Vihear villagers for intentional property damage in a provincial court hearing yesterday, a charge stemming from an ongoing land dispute which saw a fence set ablaze during a protest roughly two years ago.

FP Co Ltd first brought the villagers to court in 2014, following an incident in which the company’s wooden fence was burned down during a protest in Kulen district’s Srayong Cheung village. Some 67 families claim that the government sold the area they live on to the agri-business company as part of an economic land concession, threatening their livelihoods.

FP has demanded $7,500 in compensation from the defendants.

According to prosecutor Sreng Vuthea, the 12 villagers acknowledged that they were in attendance at the protest, but denied burning down the fence, he said.

“We’re poor, so we protested when we lost the land,” said Huon Chan Thoeun, 52, who appeared in court yesterday. “We cannot afford to pay this compensation.”

Thoeun and his family had lost more than 10 hectares to the company, he added.

The company could not be reached for comment yesterday.

A verdict will be handed down on May 17.

MOST VIEWED

  • PM imposes nationwide Covid restrictions, curfew over Delta scare

    Prime Minister Hun Sen late on July 28 instructed the municipal and provincial authorities nationwide to strictly enforce Covid-19 measures including curfew for two weeks from July 29 midnight through August 12 to stem the new coronavirus Delta variant. The instruction came shortly after he issued a directive

  • Two luxury hotels latest quarantine options for inbound travellers

    The Inter-Ministerial Committee to Combat Covid-19 has designated two luxury hotels as alternative quarantine options for travellers who wish to enter Cambodia through Phnom Penh International Airport – Sokha Phnom Penh Hotel & Residence and the Courtyard by Marriott Phnom Penh. In a notice detailing guidelines issued

  • Visa A holders get to quarantine at Himawari Hotel

    The Ministry of Health has permitted foreign diplomats, UN and International NGO officials to undergo quarantine at Himawari Hotel in the capital in case they do not have a separate place suitable for this purpose, but the government would not be responsible for the expenses.

  • Provinces on Thai borders put in lockdown amid Delta fears

    The government has decided to place several border provinces in lockdown for two weeks in a bid to prevent the new coronavirus Delta variant spreading further into community. According a directive signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen late on July 28, the provinces include Koh Kong,

  • Jabs for kids bring hope for school reopenings

    Cambodia is tentatively planning to reopen schools – at least at the secondary level – when the vaccination of children aged 12-17 is completed, even though daily transmissions and deaths in other age groups remain high. Schools across the country have been suspended since March 20, one month

  • China denies Mekong hacking

    As the US and its allies joined hands last week to expose what they allege to be China’s Ministry of State Security’s malicious cyber activities around the world, the attention also turned to Cambodia with the US Department of Justice claiming that four