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Cleared of kidnapping

A farmer walked free from court yesterday after judges ruled that he did not abduct a senior provincial official’s wife – with whom he was having an affair – last year.

“Based on this hearing and the suspect’s answers, the court did not find Yin Touch, 35, guilty,” Judge Te Sam Ang said. “Therefore, the court has decided to drop charges against him and release him.”

However, Touch’s sister, Yin Naihoeung, 45, was found guilty of stealing about $26,000 and jewellery from the woman in question, Heng Vandeth, 51, the wife of a deputy director of Kratie's Provincial Hall. The money was later returned.

“The court convicted Yin Naihoeung … to one year for stealing, but her punishment is suspended,” Sam Ang said.

After being arrested in October, Touch and Naihoeung, from Kampong Cham province, were both accused of the abduction of Vandeth and theft.

But it emerged that Touch had been in a sexual relationship with Vandeth and had threatened to go public about their affair if she did not leave her husband to live with him, Sam Ang said.

“When … Vandeth left her husband and children in Kratie, she also took $30,000 … along with jewellery to live with Touch,” he added.

Vandeth then built Touch a house, leaving about $26,000 – money Naihoeung later stole.

Outside court, Touch said he was happy the court had found him innocent.

“She decided to leave her family and come to live with me by herself,” he said, adding the pair had since parted ways.

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