Five cambodia officials under fire for land grabs
Buth Reaksmey Kongkea / Khmer Times Mon, December 28, 2020
PHNOMPENH POST – A judge, a deputy prosecutor, two high-ranking-military officials and a district land management official have had a complaint filed against them for alleged corruption, abuse of power and grabbing six hectares of land in Oddar Meanchey province in 2016.
According to the complaint, filed on Saturday to the Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) which was yesterday obtained by Khmer Times, the five men are Sim Pichetr and Kong Ratana, judge and deputy prosecutor of Banteay Meanchey Provincial Court respectively, Major General Ouk Kimly, deputy director of Border Affairs of the Ministry of National Defence, Lieutenant Colonel Yim Sen, deputy chief of the Cambodia-Thai Border Relation Office at O’Smach Border International Checkpoint and Kim Samnang, deputy chief of Anlong Veng district land management.
The four plaintiffs were identified as Pen Nuon, 42, a journalist and publisher, Chov Sang, 57, Lim Voeun, 64, and Loeuy Vichetr, 43, all farmers who live in Anlong Veng district.
Nuon said yesterday that in January 2015, Maj Gen Kimly grabbed 140 hectares of land in Trapaing Tav commune’s Tuol Svay Sen Chey village. He said that villagers wrote and complained to Prime Minister Hun Sen and on February 24, 2015, the provincial authorities returned the land to them.
He added that on April 12, 2016, Maj Gen Kimly allegedly grabbed another six hectares of land belonging to him and the other plaintiffs and later sold it to his friend Lt Col Sen.
Nuon said that on April 12, 2019, Samnang forged a document and gave the title of the grabbed lands to Lt Col Sen.
He said that on October 6, 2019, he posted on Facebook saying that Maj Gen Kimly was stealing land from villagers. Nuon was later sued for defamation and ordered to pay about $10,000 to both Maj Gen Kimly Lt Col Sen and around $1,250 to the state.
“To find the truth and justice in this case, I would like to ask His Excellency President of ACU to investigate these five government officials and take action against them by law,” Nuon said.
ACU president Om Yentieng declined to comment yesterday.
SOURCE: Khmer Times, Cambodia Mon, December 28, 2020