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Charge upped in acid verdict

The Supreme Court ruled yesterday to change the charges against a man accused of an acid attack from violence to attempted murder, following an appeal earlier this month.

At 4am on the morning of September 15, 2011, Pov Kolab, 24, accosted Kong Touch, 50, as she entered a rubber plantation and doused her with acid, according to court documents.

In 2012, Kolab was charged with causing violence with acid and sentenced to 10 years in prison and a 20 million riel ($5,000) fine. While Kobal appealed for a reduced sentence on July 7, the prosecution appealed to increase the charge to attempted murder, and yesterday, presiding judge Khim Ponn said he believed the stronger charge was appropriate.

“The Supreme Court decided to uphold the lower court’s verdict since the suspect’s answers are not reasonable for the court [to] reduce the punishment,” he said.

Despite the 2012 Acid Law, which increased sentences to between 15 years and a life sentence, the judge did not increase Kolab’s sentence.

“I am also happy with [the sentence], but I am not satisfied if I compare it with my suffering,” Kong Touch said by phone yesterday:

“I want him to be in jail for 20 years. I became a disabled person, [lost] social status, and I am discriminated against by other people in the community.”

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