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Ben Woods

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Official Retracts Comments About Logging in Wildlife Sanctuary

A district-level Environment Ministry official on Thursday retracted comments he made last week when he claimed proper monitoring of logging inside Ratanakkiri province’s Lumphat Wildlife Sanctuary was impossible because his ministry did not know the boundaries of private land concessions in the protected zone.

Star Skateboarder Tony Hawk Performs for Phnom Penh Youths

U.S. skateboarding legend Tony Hawk wrapped up a brief philanthropic tour of Cambodia by performing a series of increasingly difficult tricks in front of a cheering crowd of young fans at a skate park operated by local NGO Skateistan Cambodia in Phnom Penh Thursday.

New Association to Take on Illegal DVD Sales

The Motion Picture As­sociation of Cambodia, an independent body that aims to protect intellectual property, officially opened its doors Wednesday, vowing to put an end to the sale of pirated DVDs in Phnom Penh as its first order of business.

Ex-Environment Minister Says Deforestation Exaggerated

Former Environment Minister Mok Mareth on Tuesday accused the media of having “twisted the truth” in reporting on illegal logging in Ratanakkiri province, where rights groups and independent forestry monitors say the natural environment is being pillaged and ethnic minority communities impoverished by illegal loggers and agro-industry companies.

Lawmaker Defends Decision to Leave Scene of Fatal Accident

Senior CPP lawmaker Cheam Yeap on Monday defended his decision to leave the scene of a fatal traffic accident in Kandal province’s Kien Svay district on Friday morning, arguing that he had not broken the law because he had immediately called his lawyer after the crash and asked him to “solve the problem.”

Try Pheap Given Exclusive Rights to Seized Wood

Try Pheap Import Export earlier this year obtained the exclusive right to collect nearly 5,000 cubic meters of confiscated luxury timber, from provinces across the country, after paying the government some $3.4 million for the privilege, the Forestry Administration said Monday.

Senior Lawmaker Left Scene of Crash That Killed Woman

Senior CPP lawmaker Cheam Yeap left the scene of a fatal traffic accident in Kandal province’s Kien Svay district on Friday morning that occurred when the SUV he was traveling in collided head-on with a young couple on a motorbike, leaving the woman dead and her husband critically injured, police and witnesses said Sunday.

Still in Prison, Sergei Polonsky Set to Marry Common-Law Wife

While his lawyers seek deals to secure his safe passage to Moscow and protect his dwindling fortune, jailed Russian oligarch Sergei Polonsky is set to enter into a different kind of pact: marriage.

Hun Sen’s Student Volunteers to Resume Land-Titling Program

The government is set to start re-deploying student volunteers to measure and demarcate plots of land across the country as part of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s land-titling scheme, which was briefly suspended ahead of July’s national election.

Official Says Legality of Sanctuary Logging Unknown

A district-level Environment Ministry official in Ratanakkiri province on Wednesday claimed that he had no way to determine the legality of logging operations by firms with private land concessions inside the province’s Lumphat Wildlife Sanctuary.

ELC in Nature Preserve Is Illegal, Government Spokesman Says

An “unofficial” land concession granted earlier this year to an agro-industry firm that has logged luxury hardwood in Ratanakkiri province’s Lumphat Wildlife Sanctuary is in violation of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s 2012 moratorium on new economic land concessions, a government spokesman said Tuesday.

Firm Logging in Wildlife Sanctuary Granted ‘Unofficial’ Concession

The Ratanakkiri provincial governor on Monday revealed that a private agro-industry firm accused of logging protected, luxury-grade hardwood on a huge scale inside the province’s Lumphat Wildlife Sanctuary has been granted an “unofficial” land concession inside the protected zone.

Tea Banh Jets to China on ‘Imperative’ Mission

Defense Minister General Tea Banh flew to China on Saturday on an “imperative” military mission, providing few details about the trip’s purpose except to say that he would be inspecting equipment that could be used to increase the efficacy of Cambodia’s armed forces.

At Polonsky’s Press Event, Reporters Denied Access, Detained

A press conference organized Thursday by Sergei Polonsky at Phnom Penh’s PJ prison—where the Russian oligarch is awaiting extradition to Moscow to stand trial on embezzlement charges—did not go according to plan.

Video Posted by Polonsky Alleges Extortion Attempt by Official

Two days before his arrest on Monday at the request of authorities in Moscow, Sergei Polonsky posted a video to his Facebook page, which his lawyer claimed to Russian media shows a Cambodian government official attempting to extort $1 million from the former oligarch in exchange for keeping him out of prison.

Couple Arrested for Buying Baby Girl

Anti-human trafficking police on Wednesday arrested a man and his wife for attempting to cross the Poipet border checkpoint in Banteay Meanchey province with a six-month-old baby girl they had bought in Phnom Penh so that they could beg with her in Malaysia, police said Thursday.

Chinese Man Convicted of Raping 17-Year-Old Girl

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Wednesday sentenced a 38-year-old Chinese man to seven years in prison for raping a 17-year-old girl in Meanchey district’s Prek Pra commune in December last year, a court official said.

Banteay Meanchey Governor Try Narin Dies in Traffic Accident

Try Narin, the 36-year-old governor of Banteay Meanchey province, died in a traffic accident early Wednesday morning when the vehicle he was traveling in collided with the back of a truck on National Road 5 in Battambang province, police said.

Sergei Polonsky Awaits Extradition in Phnom Penh Prison

Following his dramatic arrest on Koh Rong off the coast of Sihanoukville on Monday, wanted Russian oligarch Sergei Polonsky was on Tuesday transported to Phnom Penh’s PJ Prison to await extradition to Moscow, where he will stand trial on multimillion-dollar embezzlement charges.

Wanted Russian Oligarch Sergei Polonsky Arrested in Preah Sihanouk

Russian oligarch Sergei Polonsky—who is being sought by Moscow authorities to face multimillion-dollar embezzlement charges—was arrested Monday morning on Koh Rong off the coast of Sihanoukville following a short-lived attempt to evade capture, witnesses and senior police officials said.