Court charges three over roles in land grab

Source: Khmer Times

The three accused and the others after their arrests on Saturday. Bayon News

Preah Sihanouk Provincial Court yesterday charged three people over their roles in the illegal occupation of land reserved for a railway in Sihanoukville’s Muoy commune.

Court records identified the accused as Chhun Vanny, 57; Boeun Vanna, 67; and Oung Navy, 49.

On Saturday, Preah Sihanouk provincial police detained a total of six people who allegedly led numerous families to occupy state land in Lok Muoy commune.

During the detention, one suspect escaped police custody, while two were sent to hospital for medical treatment.

Sut Som On, chief of the provincial minor crimes bureau, confirmed yesterday that after questioning the three accused, police sent them to the provincial court on Monday to face a judge.

“We have already sent them to court and the court decided to hold them temporarily,” Mr Som On said.

He noted that the two suspects who were being treated at hospital are also going to be charged despite their health condition.

Lim Bun Heng, provincial deputy prosecutor, could not be reached for comment yesterday. Yim Bunnareth, head of administration at the court, declined to comment.

Cheap Sotheary, provincial coordinator for rights group Adhoc, said yesterday that she is monitoring the case.

Ms Sotheary confirmed that three people were charged by the provincial court over their involvement in encroaching on public land.

She said that the accused claim the land was bought some time between 2002 and 2004, and they only now had money to build houses.

“Those people said that they bought the land from others more than a decade ago,” Ms Sotheary said. “But the accused do not have documents to support their claim.”

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