Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Ratanakkiti case to get third judge in three years

Ratanakkiti case to get third judge in three years

Ratanakkiti case to get third judge in three years

Ratanakkiti provincial court is set to appoint a new judge in a case pitting an ethnic Jarai village in the province against a prominent Phnom Penh businesswoman, but lawyers representing the villagers say it remains unclear when the protracted case will finally move towards a resolution.

Man Vuthy, a lawyer with the Community Legal Education Centre (CLEC), said Tuesday that the court director had informed the group he will soon appoint a new judge after the previous one, Thor Saron, stepped down this year, casting the case into limbo.

“At the moment, no judge is responsible for the case,” he said. “Until today, everything is quiet.”

He said Thor Saron voluntarily dropped the case at an undetermined date earlier in the year, after CLEC, which is representing the villagers, filed a bias motion in December seeking to have him removed.

The land dispute dates back to 2004, when, residents of Kong Yu village say, they were tricked into selling 450 hectares of land to a rubber company owned by Keat Kolney, the sister of Finance Minister Keat Chhon.

The case has already had two judges since charges were first filed in 2007 – the first, Yar Narin, was also dropped in October 2008 following bias complaints.

When contacted Tuesday, Thor Saron said he had removed himself from the case after the bias complaint and had requested that the court appoint a replacement. “I don’t know who the new judge is,” he said.

Provincial court director Lu Susambath could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

MOST VIEWED

  • Angkor lifetime pass, special Siem Reap travel offers planned

    The Ministry of Tourism plans to introduce a convenient, single lifetime pass for foreign travellers to visit Angkor Archaeological Park and potentially other areas. The move is designed to stimulate tourism to the culturally rich province of Siem Reap as the start of the “Visit

  • Bosba: The first Khmer woman composer from UK’s Cambridge

    Bosba Panh is just 25 years old, but she’s already accomplished some impressive milestones for herself and the Kingdom. On July 24, she graduated with a Master’s degree from the University of Cambridge as the first Khmer woman composer and Khmer music graduate ever at

  • ‘Golden’ Angkor Wat likely due to natural phenomenon: ANA

    Pictures and video clips of the Angkor Wat temple, its spires seemingly coated in gold, have been shared tens of thousands of times on social media, prompting a sense of wonder among those who have seen them. Hong Sam Ath, who took the pictures and

  • Pailin longan winery tries to break through to the big time

    Longan aren’t quite as glamorous as some fruits. They don’t have the star-power of mangos or generate the excitement of a pricey seasonal niche fruit like the pungent durian. Unlike bananas or oranges, which are known and loved everywhere, longan remains a decidedly

  • Debt restructuring over, time to tackle rising NPL ratio

    The Cambodian banking system has just completed a 26-month debt restructuring exercise where scores of loan accounts were revised, classified and provisioned as the rate of non-performing loans inched up, sparking a slight credit risk unease Implemented in April 2020, the Covid-19 debt restructuring measures came

  • Koh Slaket studio resort brings culture with style

    Davitra (Cambodia) Co Ltd’s multi-million-dollar 13ha Koh Slaket studio-cum-resort just east of the capital was inaugurated in the first phase on August 6, providing national and international tourists with a new travel option and job opportunities for locals. The man-made cultural and scenic lakefront getaway