Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Siem Reap court to hear case against Chi Kraeng villagers

Siem Reap court to hear case against Chi Kraeng villagers

Siem Reap court to hear case against Chi Kraeng villagers

SIEM Reap Provincial Court officials would hold a hearing today in the case against nine villagers from Chi Kraeng district’s Chi Kraeng commune following a two-month delay, the villagers’ lawyer Ham Sunrith said.

He said the villagers have been accused of robbery in connection with a long-running land dispute with residents from a neighbouring commune, but declined to comment ahead of the hearing.

The charges stem from a March 22, 2009, altercation in which police opened fire on a group of protesting residents from Chi Kraeng and neighbouring Anlong Samnor commune.

The two communes have been embroiled in a land dispute that dates back to 1986, and has resulted in a series of altercations since officials ruled last year that the land in question belonged to Anlong Samnor.

On September 15, presiding Judge Ith Samphos said the hearing would need to be rescheduled because one of the presiding judges had also conducted investigations into the case, and consequently could not rule on the proceedings.

Touk Ponloek, a Chi Kraeng villagers’ representative, said yesterday that Chi Kraeng district police had stopped a truck carrying about 50 villagers who were travelling to Siem Reap town in advance of the court hearing.

“It is very unjust for the villagers because we just wanted to listen to whether the hearing is fair or not,” he said, adding that the people had been forced to proceed on foot.

Chi Kraeng district police chief Touch Sakal denied the accusations, saying his officials had just asked some questions because the villagers’ truck was overloaded.

All nine suspects were acquitted of robbery charges in a related case last year, but have remained behind bars pending the prosecutor’s appeal.

On September 14, the Appeal Court in Phnom Penh postponed its hearing in the appeal, also because presiding judges had participated in the investigation. A date for the appeal hearing has not yet been announced.

Judge Sous La, who will preside over today’s hearing, could not be reached for comment yesterday.

MOST VIEWED

  • Angkor Wat named as the top landmark for the second year

    Travel website TripAdvisor has named Cambodia’s ancient wonder Angkor Wat as the top landmark in the world for the second year running in their Travelers’ Choice Award 2018, an achievement Cambodian tourism operators expect will attract more tourists to the Kingdom. The website uses traveller

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty

  • Hun Sen detractors ‘will die’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday said those who curse or insult him would eventually die without a plot of land to bury their bodies after being killed by lightning, suffering the same fate as those who recently died in Thmar Baing district in Koh

  • Ministry’s plan for net sparks fears

    The government has ordered all domestic and international internet traffic in the Kingdom to pass through a Data Management Centre (DMC) that has been newly created by the state-owned Telecom Cambodia, in a move some have claimed is an attempt to censor government critics. Spokesman