Court Official to Enforce Verdict In Long-Running Land Dispute

A court prosecutor and a squadron of police will on Thursday descend on a hectare of land in Phnom Penh in order to properly divide it among 163 families who claim that one woman monopolized the plot after they won it in a land dispute, an official said Wednesday.

The families were granted the 9,982-square-meter plot in Sen Sok district in a 2011 decision by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court following a dispute with a local businessman, but say that Chea Sarom, one of the awardees, then claimed the entire area for herself and prevented others from living there.

Deputy district governor Mou Manith said Wednesday that deputy municipal court prosecutor Kol Bun would ensure that the families awarded the land in the 2011 decision receive a share of the plot as promised.

“Tomorrow, we have ordered police and military police to come along during the deputy court prosecutor’s implementation of the court’s verdict, and the court has a list of the families who have to receive land,” Mr. Manith said.

Yet Mr. Bun said he was not in possession of a list specifying who should receive land and only had one identifying the complainants who took part in the legal dispute that ended in 2011, which he said he would read Thursday.

“Which families are to receive the land, the [municipal] authorities have [the list]. I have only the list from the Supreme Court, but the list from the authorities should be clear,” Mr. Bun said. “I do not have the number to be sure how many, or who are the real families that will get the land.”

Pring Socheat, a representative of the families that Ms. Sarom has excluded from the plot, said she harbored no ill-feelings toward the woman and was simply happy that the four-year-old verdict was now being enforced.

“We’re happy and we won’t let Chea Sarom not get land, as she helped and represented us. Our family names are already in the verdict, so we will get land,” she said.

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