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Charged trio on lam

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Tycoon Khaou Chuly (L) and his wife Seng Chenda at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013. Photograph: Vireak Mai/Phnom Penh Post

Tycoon Khaou Chuly (L) and his wife Seng Chenda at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013. Photograph: Vireak Mai/Phnom Penh Post

Three more suspects charged as accomplices in the attempted murder of tycoon Khaou Chuly’s stepdaughter Sun Sotha were on the run even as judges began questioning potential witnesses in their case, Phnom Penh Municipal Court officials said yesterday.

According to investigating judge Keo Mony, the court questioned Chuly’s second wife, Seng Chenda, and her accomplice Sok Lak — both convicted for the June, 2010 attempted murder of Chenda’s stepdaughter — about the involvement of Chuly’s son Khaou Phallabotr, Phallabotr’s wife, Lay Hourng, and Chenda’s daughter from a previous marriage, Huy Sok Leap.

The trio, along with Khaou Chuly himself, were recently charged by the court, another court official who declined to be named said, but no arrest warrant has been issued for Chuly. The others, he said, had fled the country.

Mony said he had completed his questioning of Chenda and Lak about the attempted murder of Sotha — the daughter of Khaou Chuly from a previous marriage and wife of Sun Chanthol, vice-chairman of the Council for the Development of Cambodia — but declined to comment on when the case might come to court.

“This case is still being processed by the court,” he said. “I will not make any comment on it.”  

Pal Chandara, a lawyer for Sun Chanthol and the Royal Government of Cambodia, said his client had submitted his criminal complaint more than a year ago, but “has not asked for any compensation money from them”.

Chandara went on to say that Chanthol had obtained recordings of the accused discussing the murder and rape of his wife and daughter.

Seng Chanda yesterday confirmed that she had been questioned, and went on to maintain her innocence, along with Sok Lak, who accused Chanthol of embellishing his story to win the court case, saying the “story was only an internal conflict between . . . Chanthol’s family and [Khaou Chuly’s] family, and he has made it up so his family can win”.

To contact the reporter on this story: Buth Reaksmey Kongkea at reaksmeykongkea.buth@phnompenhpost.com

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