More Villagers Questioned in Phanimex Case

Four more villagers from Kandal province’s Ponhea Leu district embroiled in a land dispute with a powerful development company were questioned Tuesday as protests continued outside the provincial court.

The villagers are the latest to be questioned over an ongoing dispute with the Phanimex Development company, which the villagers accuse of grabbing 63 hectares of land belonging to 180 families.

Phanimex, in turn, filed complaints against 12 villagers for blocking the road and removing demarcation posts in June.

Um Sambath, 52, Srey Sam Oeun, 78, Oeu Savoeun, 55, and a 38-year-old identified only as Kompheak were the latest to face questioning. A further four residents are due to be questioned by Thursday, including commune chief Yu Phat.

“I am not afraid of the company because the villagers and I have not grabbed the company’s land,” Mr. Phat said Tuesday.

Villagers deny the land was sold to the company and have staged a number of protests. Phanimex representatives could not be reached for comment.

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