Cambodia: Ratanakkiri Provincial Court ends investigations into criminal charges of incitement against an NGO staffer and nine residents

Author: Soth Koemsoeun, The Phnom Penh Post, Published on: 12 February 2020

"Court case over for Adhoc officer", 11 February 2020

The Ratanakkiri provincial court has decided to end the case against Adhoc officer Pen Bunna and nine residents of Seda commune after they were charged with incitement to commit crimes.

Bunna, 56, and his associates were placed under the supervision of Judge Seng Simsorya …

The complainants are local and provincial officials who filed a complaint against Bunna and his associates after they first filed a lawsuit against the officials for allowing the clearing of more than 800ha of forest land in the Lumphat Wildlife Sanctuary.

In a letter …, Judge Simsorya notified Bunna and his associates that they will no longer have to appear before the court.

“The investigating judge decided that the investigation is over,” the letter said.

Ratanakkiri Provincial Court spokesman Keo Pisoth said … that Judge Simsorya has closed the investigation.

“They will no longer be interrogated or required to appear in court because the plaintiffs and their legal team have run out of witnesses,” he said.

Bunna said … that he was happy with the court’s decision and noted that the defence team had done an excellent job. The plaintiffs’ legal team was unable to find any fault in their actions and the court had no evidence against them…

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