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Court Releases Six Accused in Land Dispute

Kampong Thom provincial court on Friday released six people in a land dispute with forestry officials, charging only three with deforestation.

Math Sareth, 44, Thach Sarin, 44, and Po Kin, 24, were released on bail, prosecutor Ty Sovanthal said.

The court charged that the three had destroyed parts of a forest in Son Touk district across 16 square kilometers, but found no evidence to charge three others.

The six were arrested earlier this week by officials of the Ministry of Agriculture’s forestry administration, after they led hundreds of families in the development of Banteay Rongeang,a village for disabled people.

Villagers admitted no wrongdoing in building their village, but say they are being removed from land after a land concession was granted to a Vietnamese company to establish a plantation.