An assistant to former RCAF Commander in Chief Ke Kim Yan denied Tuesday that his boss was involved in a land dispute in Phnom Penh’s Khmuonh commune.
On Monday, attorney and senior government adviser Uk Phourik said he was seeking $100,000 in compensation from Ke Kim Yan because the general allegedly dug up 1.4 hectares of his clients’ land in 2005.
An assistant to Ke Kim Yan, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the dispute is actually between Ke Kim Yan’s wife, Mao Malay, and Uk Phourik’s clients, and that the general has nothing to do with it.
“[Ke Kim Yan] wasn’t involved with the land dispute,” the assistant said.
According to copies of signed and thumbprinted documents provided by the assistant, Uk Phourik’s client Pheng Ok sold that land to Mao Malay in February 2004.
Uk Phourik reiterated his claim Tuesday that Ke Kim Yan was involved with the land dispute, saying Phorn Sopheak, the person who was in charge of digging up the land, worked for Ke Kim Yan.
Ke Kim Yan did buy 1.5 hectares of land near the disputed site, Uk Phourik said, but did not purchase the 1.4-hectare plot in which he allegedly dug a 25-meter-deep pit.
“Now I will file a complaint naming Pheng Ok and Ke Kim Yan” with City Hall, he said. He added that in a previous 2005 complaint, he hadn’t named Ke Kim Yan because he was afraid that the complaint wouldn’t be dealt with.
“If Ke Kim Yan pays the compensation, the complaint will be resolved; my clients don’t want to face the court,” he said.
According to the official record of a Jan 23 Council of Ministers meeting, Ke Kim Yan was removed from his post in part because of questionable land deals.