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Court Releases Five People in Land Dispute

More than 200 villagers gathered in front of the Kampong Speu provincial court Thursday, demanding the release of five representatives held in a land dispute with a powerful business tycoon.

The five representatives, two woman and three men, were released Thursday afternoon. The court had brought them in for questioning after the Phnom Penh Sugar Company, run by Ly Yong Phat, filed charges against them.

Villagers have been protesting since Feb. 26 and claim they have been pushed off land by the company.

The five villagers were accused of damaging bulldozers and blocking them from destroying property on land also claimed by the company.

They were released without charge on the condition they sign a promise not to attack the company again.