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Accused kidnapper faces judge

One of the men accused of kidnapping the son of Interior Ministry Undersecretary of State Sau Phan last October was charged with illegal detention and carrying an unlawful weapon by Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday.

Suth Sophy, 38, was arrested last November after he and other kidnappers, whose number Sophy put at five, forced Phan to pay $500,000 in return for Akno’s release.

“The kidnappers called to ask for $1,000,000 ransom from my wife, so I decided to sell my house at the price of $450,000, though I expected to sell it for $1,000,000,” Phan said.

The kidnappers ultimately released Akno for half the demanded sum, Phan said, but added that Akno was injured, his eardrum cut.

“I request a total of $2,000,000 in compensation,” he said.

Sophy admitted to participating in the kidnapping but stressed that a man named Nguon Soeur, who remains at large, was the mastermind.

“I met the Nguon Soeur twice, and he ordered me to kidnap the victim in exchange for $10,000,” Sophy said.

Sophy added that he and the other kidnappers followed Akno for eight days before threatening him with guns, hustling him into a Lexus provided by Soeur, and detaining him at a villa in Tuol Kork district.

Presiding Judge Visal said that the hearing will continue on November 16.

To contact the reporter on this story: Lieng Sarith at sarith.lieng@phnompenhpost.com

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