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Bail plea for suspects in casino torture case

A casino manager and four employees, who are accused of attempted murder after allegedly beating and torturing three men at a casino in the Svay Rieng province, asked for bail yesterday  at a Phnom Penh court.

The 41-year-old manager of Darling III casino in Kampong Ro district, Lim Phyleng, and four other suspects – 28-year-old Sum Vanny, 28-year-old Ros Sokolda, 34-year-old Siv Tola and 30-year-old Kol Viyuth – asked for bail at a Supreme Court hearing.

An earlier appeal against a decision by the Svay Rieng provincial court to deny them bail was turned down in May.

The victims they are accused of trying to murder, Ly Tuong Phong, 40, Ly Tuong Sanh, 43, and Prum Sovannrith, 39, claim to have been so severely beaten and tortured that two of them are now mentally handicapped and one has lost proper function of his penis.

A representative of the victims, Sam Nang, said yesterday the assault took place after the victims aggravated the suspects by walking into the casino through an unauthorised entrance on December 30 last year.

The group used steel tubes to hit them on the head and electrical sticks

The victims were allegedly then taken into an office in the casino. where they were detained and beaten for several hours before being released and hospitalised.
“They were seriously beaten and tortured. The group [of suspects] used steel tubes to hit them on the head and electrical sticks to shock the victims on their bodies and penises. Their activities were very inhumane,” he said.

All of the victims worked at a cockfighting ring at the gambling centre.

Pich Vicheka, lawyer for the three victims, said suspects involved in criminal cases must not be allowed out of prison until their trials.

“This is a criminal offence. Therefore, I would like to ask the court not to release them [suspects] until they are tried,” he said.  “I would also like to ask them to pay at least US$1 million in compensat-ion to my clients.”

Supreme Court judge Khim Pon said the court would release a decision on the suspects’ request for bail on September 7.

The five suspects and their attorneys attended yesterday’s hearing, but none of them could be reached for comment.

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