Municipal authorities will execute a court order on Friday halting further development and sales in a 3,000-square-meter section of Chamkar Mon district’s luxury Bassac Garden City development while a years-old dispute over the land is pending.
In a notice issued July 25 and obtained yesterday, district governor Lo Yuy gave district and military police the authority to carry out the court order, dated May 10, 2010. In it, deputy prosecutor Ke Sakhorn calls for the authorities to stop “construction, selling, renting, pawning, giving as donation, bequeathment or transference of ownership of the 3,000 square meters of land.”
Ke Sakhorn, deputy director of Phnom Penh Municipal Court, cautioned yesterday that the order was not a reflection of how the court would rule.
“We just issue this court order to prevent disputes between the complainant and another partner. We do not know who the land belongs to until the court tries the case.”
Two people purchased the land in Tonle Bassac commune’s Village 8 in 2002, and a dispute has been pending since the surrounding area was marked for development in 2005. In May 2009, the dispute came to a head when dozens of families were forcibly evicted from the riverbank Reak Reay community to make way for an expansion of Bassac Garden City.
The two who formerly owned 3,000 of the more than 13,000 square meters that comprised the development site have long pushed for a suspension of activity while the case continues.
An execution order similar to the one dated July 25 was issued in 2010, but municipal authorities were afraid to go through with enforcement, said the lawyer for the former owners. In the meantime, development has proceeded.
“Authorities had tried executing the court order once before, but they got scared because a gate fencing off the land was closed. So they did not dare to go onto the land,” said attorney Tann Mengsroy.
Bassac Garden City project manager Touch Samnang declined to comment yesterday.
Ou Pov, Tonle Bassac commune police chief, said yesterday that police would execute the order.
“We local policemen always closely cooperate with court orders.”