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12 charged for violent protest in attempted land grab case

Buth Reaksmey Kongkea / Khmer Times Share:
Authorities tear down an illegal wall while the 12 accused protest by burning tires. Facebook

Kandal Provincial Court yesterday charged 12 men accused of stealing around one hectare of a villager’s land in Kandal province, forging a land deed and selling it to a land broker in 2019.

Deputy Chief of Ksach Kandal district police Lieutenant Colonel Bun Yong told Khmer Times yesterday that the 12 accused are villagers from Prek Lvea village, in Prek Takov commune.

Lt Col Yong said they were charged with three counts of “stealing and selling another person’s real estate which they do not own, unlawful interference in the discharge of public functions, and intentional acts of violence” and face the punishment up to two years in prison each. He said they were arrested on Tuesday.

In 2018, Lt Col Yong said, the 12 men forged a villager’s land deed and later sold it to a land broker at the end of 2019.

He said that after realising his land had been sold, the victim complained to the district authorities and asked the court for intervention.

He added that after discovering that the land did not belong to the 12 accused, the buyer demanded his deposit payment back from them and they returned the money.

In 2020, Lt Col Yong said, the court issued a protected injunction to keep the above land from being sold or transferred.

He said in early February, the accused constructed a wall around the disputed land without permission from the authority.

He added that about 10.30am on Tuesday, police and the district authorities went to take the wall down.  The accused then began protesting against the authorities.

“When our district authorities went to move the wall that they built on the disputed land,  they started protesting by pouring gasoline on the ground and burning car tires, as well as attacking the authorities and the police, causing two policemen to suffer minor and serious injuries,” he said.

“Police cracked down and immediately arrested them,” he added.

Kandal Provincial Court spokesman Tin Sochetra could not be reached for comment.

 

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