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Four apprehended in decades-old land case

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Four people were arrested by the Kampong Speu provincial police on Sunday after an arrest warrant was issued by an investigating judge from the Kampong Speu Provincial Court. Police

Four apprehended in decades-old land case

Four people were arrested by the Kampong Speu provincial police on Sunday after an arrest warrant was issued by an investigating judge from the Kampong Speu Provincial Court.

The charges are land encroachment, deforestation and destruction of border posts in Doung village in Phnom Sruoch district’s Choam Sangke commune.

Kampong Speu provincial police chief Sam Samoun told The Post on Monday that officers enforced the warrant and the detained were sent to court on Monday.

Samoun said the four men are Sieng Nak, 43; Mak Eam, 67; Yourn Norm, 41, and Soun Sokhom, 37. All four live in Trapaing Peurk village in Baset district’s Kat Phlok commune, in Kampong Speu province.

According to the arrest warrant issued by Judge Nguon Vuthy, the alleged offences took place in Doung village, in Phnom Sruoch district’s Choam Sangke commune, Kampong Speu province, during 1988, 1993, 1997 and 1999.

Vuthy charged the accused with criminal offences and punishment under Article 95, point 3, Article 97, point 6 and Article 95, point 2 of the Law on Forestry.

Provincial court spokesperson Chat Soraksmey told The Post on Monday: “When an investigating judge issues an arrest warrant, it means the accused have already been charged. So, this process is according to the order of the judge.”

Judge Vuthy could not be reached for comment.

Chea Hean, the director of Anti-Corruption, Natural Resource Protection and Civil Rights Protection (ACNCIPO), who investigated the case, said on Monday the four men had been selling community land in Phnom Sruoch district, Kampong Speu province.

“They are ordinary citizens, but they encroached on community land to sell to traders. This case has been going on for a long time. The court has issued summonses for the four to come in for questioning. But they refused to come, so the judge issued an order to bring them to the court,” Hean said.

Hean requested the court continue to investigate and convict those involved in this case, and not to end it only because of the arrest of the perpetrators.

Hean said land encroachment has been increasing sharply.

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