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Former Official Gets Nine Years in Land Trial

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Friday sentenced 15 people accused of illegally occupying state land and destroying protected forest up to nine years, with the heaviest sentence going to a former provincial official.

Meas Savoeun, the former deputy governor of Preah Vihear province, was given nine years in prison and a fine of 80 million riel, about $20,000, for his role in leading a number of villagers to deforest land in Preah Vihear province.

He was also ordered to pay 20 million riel, or $5,000, in compensation to the provincial forestry administration of the Ministry of Agriculture. Fourteen other people received sentences between one and seven years, for their roles in the land case.