A court in Cambodia yesterday said that four Chinese nationals have been charged with crimes related to a building collapse that killed 28 construction workers who were sleeping in the unfinished structure that doubled as their housing.
The building’s owner was charged with unintentional homicide, involuntarily causing injuries and aggravating circumstances that cause injury, the Preah Sihanouk Provincial Court said.
The builder and the building site managers were charged with conspiracy to commit those crimes.
The four were put in pretrial detention. The aggravating circumstances charge carries a penalty of five to 10 years in prison and the unintentional homicide charge carries a penalty of up to three years in jail.
The unfinished seven-story condominium collapsed early on Saturday as the workers slept on the second floor.
Survivors said that they heard a loud noise and felt the building vibrate just before it fell.
Authorities have not said what caused the collapse, and the court did not explain the basis of the charges in detail.
Rescuers found the last two survivors and the final victims on Monday. In addition to the dead, another 26 workers were injured.
The project was in Sihanoukville, a thriving beach resort town that has seen a boom of Chinese-funded projects in the past several years as part of wider wave of Chinese investment and influence in the impoverished Southeast Asian nation.
Chinese businesses have invested several billion US dollars in sectors such as tourism, real estate, agriculture, seaports and casinos. Several skyscrapers and other big property developments in the capital, Phnom Penh, in Sihanoukville and Koh Kong island have been financed and constructed by Chinese companies.
However, Chinese investors have attracted criticism in the past few years as their influence in the country grows.
Cambodia has been increasingly reliant on Chinese aid and investment, and at the same time has become a close political ally of Beijing, supporting its positions in regional and international affairs.
That has allowed Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, who has been in power for more than 30 years, to be less reliant on aid from Western countries that insist that human rights and democratic principles be observed.
Much of Cambodia’s infrastructure in the past few years has been financed by China and Chinese companies.
WARNINGS OVER COMPLACENCY: The curves of new infections in numerous countries is climbing, while others see the the first new infections in months Spikes in COVID-19 infections in Asia have dispelled any notion that the region might be over the worst, with Australia and India yesterday reporting record daily infections, Vietnam fretting over a new surge and North Korea urging vigilance. Asian nations had largely prided themselves on rapidly containing initial outbreaks after the coronavirus emerged in central China late last year, but flare-ups this month have shown the danger of complacency. “We’ve got to be careful not to slip into some idea that there’s some golden immunity that Australia has in relation to this virus,” Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison told reporters. Australia recorded its
EVOLVING SITUATION: Of the latest cases, 23 percent were found to be asymptomatic, but the coronavirus strain in Da Nang is more contagious, authorities said A COVID-19 outbreak that began in the Vietnamese city of Da Nang more than a week ago has spread to at least four city factories with a combined workforce of about 3,700, state media reported yesterday. Four cases were found at the plants in different industrial parks in the central city that collectively employ 77,000 people, the Lao Dong newspaper said. Vietnam, praised widely for its decisive measures to combat the novel coronavirus since it first appeared in late January, is battling new clusters of infection having gone for more than three months without detecting any domestic transmissions. Authorities yesterday reported one new
‘COVIDIOTS’: Politicians condemned the protest that came amid surging infections in the country, while a marcher said government-induced fear weakened the body Loudly chanting their opposition to masks and vaccines, thousands of people on Saturday gathered in Berlin to protest against COVID-19 restrictions before being dispersed by police. Police put turnout at about 20,000 — well below the 500,000 organizers had announced as they urged a “day of freedom” from months of virus curbs. Despite Germany’s comparatively low toll, authorities are concerned at a rise in infections over the past few weeks and politicians took to social media to criticize the rally as irresponsible. “We are the second wave,” shouted the crowd, a mixture of hard left and right and conspiracy theorists, as they converged
The Australian government yesterday said that it plans to give Google and Facebook three months to negotiate with media businesses fair pay for news content. In releasing a draft of a mandatory code of conduct, Canberra aims to succeed where other nations have failed in making tech firms pay for news siphoned from commercial media companies. Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said that Google and Facebook would be the first platforms targeted by the proposed legislation, but others could follow. “It’s about a fair go for Australian news media businesses, it’s about ensuring that we have increased competition, increased consumer protection and a sustainable