After five months in jail, a woman whose family is embroiled in a bitter land dispute with tycoon Khun Sear was released on bail from Prey Sar prison on Friday, though the fight between the two parties remains unresolved.
Ly Seav Minh, 23, walked out of the prison’s Correctional Center 2 at about 9:30 a.m. after having her plea for bail approved by the Supreme Court on Thursday. Prison officials had denied her exit Thursday, citing a lack of paperwork.
“I sent a letter [Friday] morning to [Supreme Court] prosecutor general Chea Leang to intervene and enact the bail decision,” said Chuong Choungy, Ms. Seav Minh’s lawyer.
Ms. Leang declined to say what action, if any, she had taken to secure the release after it had been delayed.
Prison officials could not be reached for comment.
Ms. Seav Minh and her family have been battling Mr. Sear for some five years, and along with her father was jailed for allegedly assaulting the real estate magnate’s security guards. Back at her Tuol Kok district home on Friday, she implied that her incarceration had been secured with a bribe.
“Oknha Khun Sear, he shouldn’t have used the court system to pressure us,” she said. “He should have taken the money and used it to pay us compensation.”
In the past two years, the family home, which sits on contested land, has been the target of a number of attacks—cobras tossed through the window, harassment, violent attacks by goons with clubs and arson attempts—that the family blames on Mr. Sear.
Last month, Mr. Choungy, the family’s lawyer, announced that an agreement had been made, which would see the family give up their home in exchange for $160,000 and the end of all legal action brought against them by Mr. Sear.
However, that agreement is now stalled, Mr. Choungy said, due to an additional condition that Ly Sreang Kheng, the father of the family, is not willing to accommodate.
“Mr. Sreang Kheng previously agreed to the deal but has not received the money because the company requires him to write a letter apologizing to Mr. Khun Sear,” he said.
“However, he is only prepared to write a letter stating that lawyers and NGOs made mistakes, not him.”
Mr. Sear could not be reached for comment.