Minister of Justice Keut Rith has requested the Phnom Penh Municipal Court to consider suspending proceedings in a land dispute impacting 163 families in Thmey commune, in the capital’s Sen Sok district.
Rith wrote in a letter on Friday saying he made his decision after receiving a complaint from Chea Sarom, a representative of the families, requesting officials to inspect the 9,992sqm site in Rong Chak village.
“After reviewing the complaint and relevant documents, it was found that confirmation of certain facts could not be resolved immediately,” he wrote in his letter to the court.
Rith requested the president of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court and the prosecutor to suspend suspending the court proceedings until an investigation is carried out.
Sarom, who filed the complaint with Rith, said the Supreme Court ruled in favour of the families in 2011 in a dispute with other parties – Pring Socheat, Houy Daravy and Ung Seang Pang.
A new owner, Kim Kao, bought the land from those men and appealed to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, which ruled in Kao’s favour.
Sarom said the families appealed and in 2018, the Court of Appeal overturned that ruling and invalidated Kao’s property ownership title.
Phnom Penh Municipal Court prosecutor Muth Dara issued a warrant on June 25 charging six individuals of conspiring with officials to use fake public documents to sell other people’s real estate in 2018.
The six accused have been detained. They are the former owners Pring Socheat, Ung Seang Pang and Houy Daravy and land management officials Banh Uyta, Kim Subut and Ryu Dongyun.
They are accused of conspiring to produce fake real estate identification certificates from the Department of Land Management Urban Planning & Construction.