Takeo Provincial Court has summoned a high-ranking National Police officer to answer a complaint that he prevented four farmers from using excavators to deepen a canal after threatening to burn their vehicles in Bati district in April.
According to the summons, signed by deputy prosecutor Tep Monin on May 29 and obtained yesterday, the court ordered Brigadier General Chhan Sithy, 51, the Police Station Administration Department’s deputy director, to appear before it to clarify the matter on June 19.
Mr Monin yesterday confirmed issuing the summons.
“I issued the summons for Brig Gen Sithy to appear at the court to clarify the issue based on a complaint we received,” he said, declining to comment further because the case is still being investigated.
On May 23 the four men filed a complaint with the court that on April 22 they were using their excavators to deepen the canal in Kraing Thnung commune when Brig Gen Sithy and a group of men confronted them and ordered them to stop.
“Later, Mr Sithy ordered two persons to attempt to burn our excavators and they shouted out for someone to bring them some gasoline,” the complaint said, noting that one person was holding a machete while the other had a bottle of gasoline.
The farmers said two other men used gasoline to start a fire in the surrounding forest, causing them to drive off in fear.
They said that the next day they went back to dig the canal and Brig Gen Sithy arrived and threatened them again.
“He threatened that if we do not stop, he will shoot to kill us,” the complaint said. “He had a gun tucked in at his waist.”
“We ask the provincial court to take action against those people based on the law and we demand $30,000 in compensation from them,” it added.
Lieutenant General Ing Sam Ol, the Police Station Administration Department’s director, confirmed that Brig Gen Sithy was his deputy.
“He left for Vietnam 10 days ago to attend a three-month training course,” he said. “It is a personal issue and the department is not involved.”