Global Witness Cleared of Trespassing Charges

Inspectors from environmental watchdog Global Witness will not face charges for trespassing during a surprise inspection of a logging company’s factory, a provincial court has ruled.

Findings from the preliminary hearing held Friday did not warrant further investigation, said Kry Sok Y, a deputy prosecutor at Kandal provincial court.

But, he said, from now on inspectors from both Global Witness and the Ministry of Ag­riculture’s Department of For­estry and Wildlife will be required to have court authorization before conducting inspections.

Logging company Everbright CIG Wood Co Ltd filed a complaint against inspectors from Global Witness and the forestry department, accusing them of illegally entering the company’s plywood factory in Kien Svay district.

Inspectors denied any wrongdoing, saying the inspection was routine and they had written government authorization.

Everbright officials could not be reached Monday.

Global Witness investigator Marcus Hardtke said inspectors won’t be able to do their jobs if they have to get a warrant before routine inspections.

Forestry Department inspection team members are expected in court today for a preliminary hearing in the same case.

Ieng Saveth, chief of the forest crime inspection office, said his employees did nothing wrong. The Everbright staff let them in, he said.

(Ad­ditional reporting by Saing Soenthrith)





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