Villagers summonsed again in dredging case

Source: Phnom Penh Post

Villagers meet with Ministry of Mines and Energy officials at local resident Mut Mum’s home in June. Yesenia Amaro

Three residents from Kandal’s Koh Kor village have been summonsed for questioning at the provincial court for the second time in as many weeks – this time for alleged “incitement” and for allegedly damaging property belonging to a sand dredging company operating in the area.

The questioning is related to a “case of incitement leading to violence and intentional damage on . . . investment”, according to the summonses. A person identified as Van Kempha filed a complaint against the three – Mut Mum, Ly Leap and Hem Heoun, who were each summonsed last week for their protests against sand dredging in the area. Mut claimed Porniron Co Ltd was behind the complaint.

A similar name, Vann Phimpha, appears on the Ministry of Commerce’s business directory for the company. A person who picked up the phone at the company’s listed number hung up when asked about the complaint.

Mum and Leap are scheduled to appear at Kandal Provincial Court on August 24, while Heoun is scheduled to appear on August 25.

According to Mut, the company is accusing her of causing damage to their private property, which she denied. “I am preparing a lawyer and collecting some documents . . . to deal with this case, because this is a threat that simple people have never seen before,” she said.

The summonses followed the temporary detainment of an environmental activist for flying a drone without permission.

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