Land Case Dropped as Elusive Accuser Fails to Show

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Tuesday dropped a three-year-old case against a group of villagers in Russei Keo district after their mysterious accuser failed for the fourth time to appear before the court.

In 2012, a complaint was filed at the municipal court by Lao Tung Ng against four villagers from Boeng Chhouk village in Tuol Sangke commune.

The court then charged the four with using violence against Mr. Tung Ng in 2008 and 2009 after he told them to vacate land he claimed to own.

The villagers, who were released on bail after being charged, say they had never seen or met their accuser.

On Tuesday, after Mr. Tung Ng once again did not appear in court, Presiding Judge Top Chhun Heng dropped the case.

“The court decides to acquit Bou Meng, 42; Kang Naren, 48; Mon Saveth, 38; and Khiev Chenda, 40, of the charges,” he said, without offering a reason. Outside the courthouse, Mr. Meng said the case had been a farce from the outset.

“This case was like gambling with those who are poor,” he said. “It wasted so much time that we couldn’t make a living.”

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