Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Siem Reap court questions evictee in land row

Siem Reap court questions evictee in land row

Siem Reap court questions evictee in land row

SIEM Reap Prosecutor Ty Soveinthal on Monday began his questioning of Huoy Mai, a 46-year-old villager from Oddar Meanchey province who has been accused of illegally cutting down trees on land at the centre of an ongoing dispute with the Angkor Sugar Company, owned by Cambodian People’s Party senator Ly Yongphat.

Huoy Mai’s family was one of 214 that were evicted from the 1,500-hectare plot of land in Kounkriel commune in October, when armed officials bulldozed some homes and burned others to the ground. Seventy families then travelled to Phnom Penh to protest the eviction.

Police arrested Huoy Mai and one other evictee in the capital on Saturday, bringing the total number of arrested evictees to five. Three were arrested immediately after the eviction and are being held on the same charges as Huoy Mai, who police say cut down trees in the buildup before the eviction. The other villager who was arrested on Saturday, Vey Sarin, was released later that day.

Huoy Chhuoy, a villager representative and Huoy Mai’s brother, said his sister had not cut down any trees on the land.

“They should file a complaint to the Angkor Sugar Company because they cut down a lot of forest to develop their farm,” he said, adding that Huoy Mai is five months pregnant.

The court has also issued a warrant for Huoy Chhuoy, who is currently in Phnom Penh.

Thon Nol, governor of Samrong district, which includes Kounkriel commune, said the families who did not flee to Phnom Penh had all accepted 30-metre-by-50-metre houses and a one-hectare plot of farmland as compensation.

MOST VIEWED

  • Chinese-owned shops are on the rise in central Phnom Penh

    Informal businesses owned by Chinese nationals are on the rise in central Phnom Penh, especially in Tonle Bassac commune, surrounding Koh Pich. Such businesses have sprung up notably in Central Market, Orussey Market, Sovanna Shopping Mall, Rattana Plaza, as well as Kakab commune across from

  • Breaking: Eighty-three containers of waste at S'ville port came from US, Canada

    The plastic waste found in 83 containers at Sihanoukville Autonomous Port on Tuesday came from the US and Canada, the Ministry of Environment has said. The huge shipment of rubbish weighs some 1,600 tonnes. Officials are continuing their investigation to find the company or individuals responsible for

  • ‘Long road for Cambodia bill to reach the White House’

    Analysts have questioned whether the “The Cambodia Democracy Act of 2019” bill would be passed by the US Senate and finally signed off by the president after its approval by the lower chamber, the House of Representatives, on Monday. Introduced by Republican Representative for Florida Ted

  • Two men arrested for stealing $2M

    Two men were arrested on Friday accused of stealing $2 million from a company after their employer sent them to withdraw the cash in Phnom Penh. Phnom Penh municipal police chief Sar Thet said on Sunday that the suspects were 37 years old and one was a