Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Rights group sues ELC staff

Rights group sues ELC staff

Villagers inspect a deforested area in an economic land concession owned by Villas Development in Mondulkiri province
Villagers inspect a deforested area in an economic land concession owned by Villas Development in Mondulkiri province on Wednesday. PHOTO SUPPLIED

Rights group sues ELC staff

Three rights monitors filed an attempted murder lawsuit against a Mondulkiri land concessionaire employee on Wednesday, after he violently denied them access to an area under investigation for forest crimes, Adhoc said yesterday.

Adhoc provincial coordinator Sok Rotha, 29, his assistant Bun Chantha, 49, and volunteer staffer Le Kao, 29, were approaching an area of forest owned by Villas Development – an economic land concession company co-owned by the wife of Deputy Governor Yoem Luch – on two motorbikes when a company car slammed into Chantha’s motorbike, Rotha said yesterday.

The driver of the car was a Villas development manager known as Khom, surname unknown, Rotha told the Post yesterday.

“He hit Chantha’s bike and ran straight towards us, so we slowed our [two] motorbikes down and pulled over,” Rotha said, alleging that Khom exited the vehicle and aggressively denied them access to the area without permission.

Following the event on Wednesday, all three Adhoc employees filed lawsuits against Khom for attempted murder and are seeking $10,000 in damages.

Adhoc’s offices in Phnom Penh issued a statement calling for the involvement of authorities in a full investigation into the incident yesterday.

Sen Monorom commune chief In Iev told the Post yesterday that he was unaware of the incident.

However Sao Vuthy, a provincial deputy prosecutor, confirmed that the court had received the lawsuit, but said a prosecutor had yet to be assigned to the case.

The stand-off comes on the heels of a second potentially violent confrontation in the province last week when seven police officers and a WWF staffer narrowly escaped a stand-off with illegal loggers, while a soldier who was accompanying the group claimed he received death threats from military police connected to the logging operation.

Chhith Sam Ath, country director for WWF-Cambodia, expressed grave concern for the wellbeing and security of staff working in the area.

“The investigation is ongoing and we’re doing everything we can to get to the bottom of what happened,” Sam Ath said in an email yesterday.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY AMELIA WOODSIDE

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen’s China visit ‘a good opportunity’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen’s visit to Beijing on Sunday to discuss economic and trade issues presents a good opportunity for the Kingdom to strengthen Chinese ties and counter punitive measures by the West, an analyst says. The prime minister’s four-day official visit to

  • Former chief bodyguard receives royal pardon

    The former chief bodyguard of late Senate president Chea Sim has received a royal pardon nearly eight years after he was sentenced to 15 years behind bars on several charges, according to a royal decree dated November 12, last year, and obtained by The Post on Wednesday.

  • Close to the edge: Hair raising pictures from Kulen Mountain

    A new hair raising attraction on Kulen Mountain has finally opened to the public, with people flocking to the protruding cliff edge overlooking green mountainous forests to take photographs. The giant overhanging rock is situated in an area known as Mahendraparvata – an ancient city of

  • US warned not to interfere despite successful meeting

    A senior Ministry of National Defence official said the Tuesday meeting between the US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence for South and Southeast Asia Joseph H Felter and General Neang Phat had helped strengthen relations between the two countries’ militaries. However, a senior Cambodian People’