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A Land Dispute Erupts in Russey Keo, Phnom Penh

A Cambodian family in Russey keo district, Phnom Penh is feuding with a Vietnamese family over the ownership of a land on which the Vietnamese lives, over charges that the Cambodian family destroyed their property and causing injury.

Meas Sophat gave his 50 meters by 100 meters land in 1987 to a 70 year-old Vietnamese lady to temporarily live when the Cambodian authorities had the Vietnamese move to another village.

Mr. Meas said that he has as witnesses the village chief and the district chief. After this old lady died, her grand-daughter and her husband built a house on the land and refused to move saying the district chief gave the land to her.

Mr. Meas' nephew was angry and kicked the house causing a few bricks to fall off. The grand-daugther filed charges of property destruction.

The Phnom Penh municipal court's deputy prosecutor Nget Sarat officially charged Mr. Meas on April 29.

Mr. Meas asked Dr. Heng Rithy of the the Cambodia National Research Organization to intervene, and Dr. Heng said that the land still belongs to Mr. Meas.

Mr. Nget cannot be reached for comment.