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

  • NY sisters inspired by Khmer heritage

    Growing up in Brooklyn, New York, Cambodian-American sisters Edo and Eyen Chorm have always felt a deep affinity for their Cambodian heritage and roots. When the pair launched their own EdoEyen namesake jewellery brand in June, 2020, they leaned heavily into designs inspired by ancient Khmer

  • Cambodia records first Omicron community case

    The Ministry of Health on January 9 reported 30 new Covid-19 cases, 29 of which were imported and all were confirmed to be the Omicron variant. The ministry also reported 11 recoveries and no new deaths. Earlier on January 9, the ministry also announced that it had detected the Kingdom's

  • The effects of the USD interest rate hike on Cambodian economy

    Experts weigh in on the effect of a potential interest rate expansion by the US Federal Reserve on a highly dollarised Cambodia Anticipation of the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike in March is putting developing economies on edge, a recent blog post by

  • PM eyes Myanmar peace troika

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has suggested that ASEAN member states establish a tripartite committee or diplomatic troika consisting of representatives from Cambodia, Brunei and Indonesia that would be tasked with mediating a ceasefire in Myanmar. The premier also requested that Nippon Foundation chairman Yohei Sasakawa

  • Kampot tourism quay ‘90% done’

    Construction on Kampot International Tourism Port – a 4ha quay in Teuk Chhou district about 6km west of Kampot town – has fallen off track, reaching 90 per cent completion, according to a senior Ministry of Tourism official last week. The project is now planned to be finished

  • Demining rat ‘hero’ Magawa dead at 8

    A landmine-hunting rat that was awarded a gold medal for heroism for clearing ordnance from the Cambodian countryside has died, his charity said on January 11. Magawa, a giant African pouched rat originally from Tanzania, helped clear mines from about 225,000sqm of land – the equivalent of 42