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Village chief fingered in Oddar Meanchey ‘land grab’

Villager Mut Kao (left), and his wife, San Sineat, hold copies of the complaint Kao filed at the Oddar Meanchey Provincial Court against Pha’Ong Village Chief Vong Sitha. Facebook
Villager Mut Kao (left), and his wife, San Sineat, hold copies of the complaint Kao filed at the Oddar Meanchey Provincial Court against Pha’Ong Village Chief Vong Sitha. Facebook

Village chief fingered in Oddar Meanchey ‘land grab’

A 58-year-old villager in Oddar Meanchey province on Saturday filed a complaint to the provincial court against Pha’Ong Village Chief Vong Sitha, accusing her of grabbing 4 hectares of his land, with Sitha on Sunday saying she planned to countersue him for defamation.

Villager Mut Kao, 58, who goes by the nickname of Yean, couldn’t be reached for comment on Sunday, but according to a copy of his complaint he is suing Sitha, a land broker identified as Chea Koy and four other people who allegedly carried out the clearing of the land.

The complaint further states that the accused, including Sitha, colluded with each other to take his land, where he grew cashew and bamboo. He alleges the clearing took place on February 19.

“I hold the land and cultivated on it since 1999, and I made documents to offer [land] to my siblings in 2007,” he wrote in the complaint.

Hang Hydra, spokesman for the Oddar Meanchey Provincial Court, said the court was reviewing the complaint.

Sitha on Sunday claimed the land had actually belonged to another villager by the name of Hat Pheap, who had sold it a long time ago.

She said she planned to countersue Kao for defamation for alleging that she had colluded to grab his land, when in fact she “followed the procedures”.

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