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Battambang deputy governor, local oknha in court for graft probe

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Provincial deputy governor Sou Arafat has been linked to a land dispute involving 5,000ha in Koas Krala district. Facebook

Battambang deputy governor, local oknha in court for graft probe

The Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) sent Battambang provincial deputy governor Sou Arafat and Okhna Sorng Thorn to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Monday in regards to a land dispute covering 5,000ha in Koas Krala district.

Court spokesman Kuch Kimlong confirmed that the two were sent to court by the ACU because of graft accusations.

“Deputy prosecutor Soeun Moniroth is investigating the case and has not proffered any charges yet. This case is still under investigation,” he said.

On June 27, the ACU questioned Thorn, who occupied 5,000ha, equal to a quarter of the total land in Koas Krala, in regards to corruption allegations.

Arafat, who is also the head of the provincial commission for land dispute resolution in Koas Krala, was taken to the ACU headquarters for questioning on July 1 concerning the probe.

Prime Minister Hun Sen on June 27 issued a sub-decree which terminated Mao Sokchan from his post as Koas Krala district governor. Sokchan was not arrested or taken in.

Provincial Adhoc coordinator Yin Mengly said the ACU was doing its job and expressed hope that offenders would face the law. “I want the investigation to proceed faster regarding this corruption and I want evidence to be shown,” he said.

Mengly claimed that Thorn and Arafat had some conflict in the last six months. He claimed that Thorn gave Arafat land to be designated as state-owned in return for a land title for his remaining land.

Both parties, he claimed, sued each other. Arafat created fake documents related to the size of the land. This resulted in Thorn occupying 5,000ha, which caused conflicts with hundreds of citizens.

The Post could not contact ACU head Om Yentieng for comment. ACU deputy head Nuon Bophal claimed Yentieng was too busy.

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