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More summons for illegal logging

Khy Sovuthy / Khmer Times Share:
Officials inspect a protected area in Mondulkiri province. Military Police

Mondulkiri Provincial Court has summoned several provincial forestry administration officials and the managers of some private companies, including Chinese and Vietnamese firms, to appear for questioning over forestry crimes linked to timber tycoon Soeng Sam Ol.

The summonses, issued last month, require them to be present in court for questioning between Friday and August 31.

Mr Sam Ol was arrested on July 9 and charged on July 12 over illegal logging in the province. He was arrested by military police along with two of his managers. Police initially detained Mr Sam Ol’s driver, but he was released after a period of questioning. Dozens of heavy vehicles were seized by the authorities.

Mam Vanda, court spokesman, yesterday said that the court wants to question several people, including provincial forestry administration officials and company management representatives.

“The provincial court issued summonses to order these people to appear for questioning over forestry crimes,” he said.

According to 20 summonses seen yesterday, the court has ordered various people, including provincial forestry administration officials and the owners and managers of some companies to appear before it between Friday and August 31.

Pressed to reveal if more than 20 people would be questioned, Mr Vanda noted that the summons covered several types of alleged forestry crimes.

“They are over this amount [20 people] and we cannot limit the number of people to be questioned because it is based on the investigation,” he said. “Now we are investigating this issue, so I cannot comment in detail about it.”

Provincial court prosecutor Heang Sopheak yesterday said the court had issued summons for people to appear for questioning over forestry crimes, noting that investigations are ongoing and he could not provide details.

“Please wait until we finish this case and then we will provide detailed information because now we are investigating this problem,” he said.

Neither Svay Sam Eang, provincial governor, nor Keo Omalis, director of Cambodia’s Forestry Administration could be reached for comments yesterday.

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