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18-Month Sentences in Dey Krahorm Case

Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Monday sentenced three former residents of the Dey Krahorm neighborhood in Phnom Penh to 18 months in jail, for the destruction of property and assault on security guards.

Chan Vicheth, 31, Khieu Bunthoeun, 39, and Ly Youleng, 62, were each found guilty for taking part in the Dec. 3, 2007, vandalization of a bulldozer and the injury of two guards.

The incident followed plans by the 7NG company to evict villagers from Dey Krahorm and move them to the outskirts of the city. That eviction finally took place in force earlier this year, with hundreds pushed out of the Chamkarmon district neighborhood.

However, at the time, villagers had fought the company for their right to stay or be better compensated to move.

Judge Chey Sovan sentenced each man to 18 months, plus five years probation and payment of compensation of $200 to the company, $250 to one guard, Ing Var, and $50 to another, Sok Kosal.

“They were the victims,” the judge said.

Horm Sunrith, lawyer for the accused, called the verdict “unjust,” citing a lack of evidence and differing accounts among the company’s witnesses.

No 7NG representatives were present at the hearing Monday, and none could be reached for comment.