General Files Land Grab Case in R’kiri

RCAF Major General Kao Try has filed a complaint with the Rata­nakkiri Provincial Court against five men, including two deputy district governors, whom he accuses of illegally grabbing his land in O’Yadaw district, officials said on Nov 16.

In August, more than 180 Jarai families accused Kao Try, former director of the Preah Ket Melea military hospital in Phnom Penh, and three other individuals of illegally obtaining title for 200 hectares of land that the villagers claim they have been living on since 1979.

Heng Sotheara, Kao Try’s lawyer, said Friday that his client lodged a complaint with the provincial court in October, accusing O’Yadaw De­p­uty Gov­er­nors Than Kang and Chhim Chhean, along with three others, of grabbing an unknown amount of his land.

Efforts to reach Than Kang and Chhim Chhean for comment on Nov 16 were unsuccessful.

The two deputy governors and the three men claimed during questioning by the provincial court on Tuesday that they had purchased land from the Jarai villagers in 2002, according to Heng Sotheara.

The court also called two representatives of the Jarai villagers, who allegedly sold the land to the deputy governors, for questioning on Nov 14.

One of the villagers questioned, Pouy Yong, 65, a former CPP official, said on Friday that he had told the court that the villagers sold the land to a conglomerate made up of 36 individuals, including the deputy governors and their three associates.

Pouy Yong claimed that Kao Try was not sold any of the land and accused him of now trying to claim land from the deputy governors as well as other land which still belongs to the ethnic minority villagers.

Provincial court Prosecutor Mey Sakhan, confirmed that the court carried out the questioning, but declined to comment further on the case.


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