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Court charges 11 over land dispute

Pech Sotheary / Khmer Times Share:

A Preah Sihanouk Provincial Court official yesterday said 11 people were arrested by provincial military police and sent to court over allegations that they incited villagers to occupy state and private land.

Ae Sophos, head of the Cambodia for Confederation Development Association, and 10 others are accused of being involved in the incitement of villagers by asking them to submit their thumbprints in order to occupy state and private land in Prey Nop district’s Bit Traing commune.

Lim Bun Heng, deputy court prosecutor, said all 11 were yesterday questioned and charged over two separate cases and are now in prison pending a trial.

“The first case involves seven people who are charged with fraud, unlawful interference in the discharge of public functions, the use of illegal documents and committing violence against a possessor of good faith of an immovable property,” Mr Bun Heng said, noting that four people have been charged with violence against a possessor of good faith of an immovable property.

CCDA vice president Suth Menghy yesterday called the arrests and detention of its members as unfair. Mr Menghy said the government must intervene in order to provide justice.

“Ae Sophos, head of the association, saw that members were involved in land dispute so he went there to check and ask for help from the authorities,” he said. “But they were instead arrested by military police and now charged by the court.”

Preah Sihanouk Provincial Hall spokesman Or Saroeun could not be reached for comment yesterday.

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