Lawsuit Filed in Banana Center Contract Dispute

A lawyer for the embattled Ba­na­na Center said Monday that a lawsuit was filed Friday with the Phnom Penh Municipal Court against Information Minister Khieu Kanharith, accusing him of violating a 15-year rental contract with the school.

“The lawsuit is filed for the continuation of the contract,” said law­yer Thong Sambath, referring to Khieu Kanharith’s canceling of the rental agreement that was signed by former information minister Lu Laysreng in 1999.

Thong Sambath added that he still believed a compromise could be made.

Khieu Kanharith said that if the suit has been filed then there would be no room for compromise in the dispute.

“If [the lawsuit] was really filed, there is no need to negotiate, they must leave [the school site] after the vacation,” Khieu Kanharith said.

“I just implement the decision of the Council of Ministers,” he said, adding that he had not softened its stance towards the Banana Center.

According to the three-page rent­al contract signed between Lu Lay­sreng and Banana Center owner Chan Sok Khieng, if there is a dispute, both sides must attempt to settle their differences. If the two sides are unable to come to a mu­tual compromise, the dispute is to be taken before the courts to de­cide.

The Banana Center, opposite Wat Phnom, will be the site of a new national radio station built by property developer Phanimex.

Phanimex is building the new na­tional radio station in exchange for the site of the former national radio station building in Phnom Penh.

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