Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Quartet summonsed over national highway protest

Quartet summonsed over national highway protest

Quartet summonsed over national highway protest

kspeuvillagers

Villager's representatives involved in a protest over the seizing of land in a commune in Kampong Speu province in November have been summonsed to court to respond to claims that they tried to prevent officials from implementing a Supreme Court verdict.

Hong Menea/Phnom Penh Post
Villagers from Phnom Sruoch district’s Treng Trayoeng commune in Kampong Speu province thumbprint a document yesterday at the office of local rights group Adhoc in Phnom Penh.

According to four different summonses signed by Kampong Speu provincial court prosecutor Keo Sothea on January 5, and obtained by the Post yesterday, Try Thorn, Yin Chhang, Nguon Nakry and Sok Kong from Phnom Sruoch district’s Treng Trayoeng commune have been summonsed to appear in the court.

The summonses state that the four are “suspects” who will be questioned over allegations that they tried to prevent land being handed over to NGO Farmer Association.

Village representatives and rights workers have claimed that a Supreme Court verdict granting 160 hectares of land in the commune’s village 6 to the NGO was being wrongly implemented in village 3, affecting 66 families who lived and farmed in the area.

The villagers whose names appear in the summonses told the Post yesterday that they did not know why they had been called to court.

However, they said they were among about 100 villagers who gathered to block national highway 4 on November 24 last year to protest against the seizing.

“The implementation of the verdict was not proper because the verdict was in village 6, but it was implemented in village 3,” said Yin Chhang, who will appear in court on Friday.

Sok Kong, 45, who is due to face questioning next Tuesday, said the Supreme Court had made it clear that the land in question was in village 6, but officials had proceeded to erect a post in village 3 in preparation to claim land there.

She said that she had occupied land in village 3 since 1988 and the commune chief had issued her with a land title in 1993.

“But the court says that the land belongs to the farmer association so the court went ahead and claimed it. They called us because we protested against them,” she said.

Seven villagers from the commune travelled to the office of human rights group Adhoc in Phnom Penh yesterday to ask for a lawyer to defend their representatives.

Chan Soveth, head of monitoring at Adhoc, said his organisation was considering assigning a lawyer to the case.

Chan Savet, an investigator for Adhoc, said he had requested that the court review the implementation of the verdict.

MOST VIEWED

  • Proof giants walked among us humans?

    For years a debate has waged about whether certain bas relief carvings at the 12th-century To Prohm Temple, one of the most popular attractions at the Angkor Wat Temple Complex in Siem Reap province, depicted dinosaurs or some rather less exotic and more contemporary animal,

  • Japan bank buys major stake in ANZ Royal Bank

    Japan's largest bank acquired more than half of ANZ’s shares in Cambodia on Thursday, according to a statement from Kith Meng’s Royal Group. Japan's JTrust Bank, announced that they had acquired a 55% of stake in ANZ Royal Bank. According to a Royal Group

  • Long way to go before Cambodia gets a ‘smart city’

    Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang will struggle to attain smart city status without adopting far reaching master plans, according to officials tasked with implementing the program. The brainchild of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), the smart city program seeks to link up

  • China-Cambodia tourism forum held

    The Cambodian tourism sector must be prepared to welcome a growing number of Chinese tourists, as they lead the globe in the number of outbound travellers and were responsible for the most visitors to the Kingdom last year, the country’s tourism minister said on