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Funcinpec Widow Files ACU Complaint for Lost Land

  • Heng Reaksmey
  • VOA Khmer

An APC (armored personel carrier) waits on a side street as a few remaining motorists leave an area of Phnom Penh where fighting broke out on Sunday July 6,1997. Fear spread through the city as scattered fighting broke out throughout the capital. APC's an

An APC (armored personel carrier) waits on a side street as a few remaining motorists leave an area of Phnom Penh where fighting broke out on Sunday July 6,1997. Fear spread through the city as scattered fighting broke out throughout the capital. APC's an

The wife of a royalist general who was killed in the 1997 coup has filed a complaint with the national Anti-Corruption Unit, saying a group of officials and judges conspired to sell her husband’s land after he died.

Chea Kim, the wife of Ho Sok, who was a Funcinpec secretary of state at the Ministry of Interior and a three-star general, says 29 government officials and six judges worked together to sell 13 hectares of land in Kandal province in 1998.

Ho Sok and other Funcinpec generals and officials were either killed in fighting or executed during the two-day coup in July 1997, as then co-prime minister Hun Sen’s Cambodian People’s Party seized power.

In her May 6 complaint, obtained by VOA Khmer, Chea Kim states that the Supreme Court overturned a 2007 decision that awarded the land to her.

Fleeing Phnom Penh residents carry their belongings along Pochentong airport road after a fuel dump exploded on Sunday July 6, 1997. Fear spread through the city as scattered fighting broke out throughout the capital. Armed forces sealed off Cambodia s wa

Fleeing Phnom Penh residents carry their belongings along Pochentong airport road after a fuel dump exploded on Sunday July 6, 1997. Fear spread through the city as scattered fighting broke out throughout the capital. Armed forces sealed off Cambodia s wa

Chea Kim names Yos Sokhourn, a Supreme Court judge, and five other judges, as conspirators in the alleged land theft.

Yos Sokhourn said “no one” complained after the court decision and declared the case “over.”

“So now why does Ho Sok’s wife file a complaint against us?” he said.

Chea Kim also names as one of the conspirators Prak Savuth, a former Kandal deputy governor and the current chief of the provincial council.

Contacted Wednesday, Prak Savuth declined to comment, saying he was in a private hospital for a medical check up.

A police official with knowledge of the case, who requested anonymity, said Prak Savuth had “masterminded” a land grab after Ho Sok was shot in 1997.

Another official accused in the case, Ieng Moly, a former information minister, said Wednesday he had legitimately bought the land eight years ago and subsequently sold it. He would consider a defamation suit against Chea Kim for accusing him of theft, he said.

Officials at the Anti-Corruption Unit, which has made a number of arrests and at least one high-profile prosecution under new anti-corruption legislation, declined to comment or could not be reached Wednesday.

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