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Questions renew over attack at Wat Phnom

Boeung Kak land-rights activist Nget Khun arrives at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday for questioning.
Boeung Kak land-rights activist Nget Khun arrives at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday for questioning. Pha Lina

Questions renew over attack at Wat Phnom

Prominent Boeung Kak activist Nget Khun was questioned in court yesterday over the violent attack on land activists at Wat Phnom three years ago, demanding compensation of 15 million riel (about $3,750) for being struck in the chest with a marble during the violence.

Twenty anti-eviction activists from the Boeung Kak and Borei Keila communities as well as journalists were attacked by a group of masked men armed with sticks, slingshots and electric batons in September 2013 as they were holding a night-time candle-light vigil.

Eleven of the activists filed a complaint shortly after naming four Daun Penh district officials as the ringleaders of the attack: Deputy District Governor Sok Penhvuth, director of order Kim Vutha, district council official Pich Socheata and deputy district police chief Soa Nol.

Khun, who goes by the nickname “Mummy”, said she informed municipal investigating judge Lim Makaron yesterday that she was struck in the chest by the marble while going to help one of the injured activists.

“After running a few metres, I fainted and someone took me to Calmette hospital,” she said, adding that she submitted videos and photos of the attack to the Interior Ministry in 2013, but that investigating judge Lim Makaron yesterday asked her to resubmit the evidence.

She also said that Makaron had instructed her to not name people when she brought up council official Socheata in court, saying she risked legal action herself.

Khun’s fellow activist Phann Chhunreth on Monday told the court she had identified Socheata as having been at the scene that night.

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