Cambodia: Koh Kong Provincial Court questions four villagers over incitement and defamation charges related to their land dispute with a company's owner

Author: Savi Khorn, The Phnom Penh Post, Published on: 20 September 2019

"Koh Kong villagers locked in land dispute grilled in defamation case", 19 September 2019

The Koh Kong provincial court … continued to question four villagers over incitement and defamation charges in connection to their long-standing land dispute with businessman Heng Huy.

The four villagers are among 197 families who claimed to have been locked in a dispute with Huy, the owner of Heng Huy Agriculture Group company, over 421ha in Sre Ambel district…

In Thou, one of the four defendants who also represented the families, said … that she and nine villagers have been accused of defaming Huy and inciting others to commit a felony early this year.

She said the lawsuit came after the 197 families began to protest and petition local and national-level authorities for a solution, but the court did not take action against the other six villagers.

… Kert Nov, another defendant, claimed the protesting families had been threatened by the company … and had not dared to protest until early this year when they filed petitions to relevant institutions seeking intervention.

Each family demanded 2ha and 29 million riel ($7,000) in compensation. However, the company turned down their demand and filed a lawsuit accusing them of defamation.

… Hour In, the provincial coordinator for rights group Licadho who had provided lawyers for the four villagers, said the prosecutor had neither dropped nor referred the case to an investigating judge…

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Related companies: Heng Huy Development