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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Conviction in grisly beating death

Conviction in grisly beating death

A deputy village chief from Phnom Penh’s Por Sen Chey district was sentenced to 12 years in prison yesterday for killing his superior.

Phnom Penh Municipal Court judge Heng Kesaror convicted deputy chief of Trapaing Anhchanh village, Sar Rim, 39, for the murder of Chan Sophal, 54, the village’s chief.

After the verdict was announced, Rim shouted that the court’s decision was wrong.

“This is a great injustice,” Rim said. “I was not the killer.”

The grisly murder happened nearly two years ago on October 12 under cover of a quiet night in Trapaing Anhchanh village. According to Colonel Yim Sarann, chief of Por Sen Chey district police, Sophal had been driving his motorbike on the road when Rim beat him to death with a stick.

“He was in a dispute with the victim about his duties in the village. He wanted to become the chief,” Sarann said.

The deputy chief was arrested on August 17, 2013, after an argument with his wife when he allegedly threatened to kill her if she told the police about Sophal’s murder.

“He threatened to kill his wife as he had killed the village chief. He told his wife that no one would dare to arrest him if he killed her,” Sarann previously told the Post.

Rim’s wife reported the fight to police, who arrested him shortly afterwards.

“Police knew that he killed Sophal after he had an argument with his wife, where he beat her and threatened to kill her [and] told her that he killed the village chief,” Sarann said.

Rim had previously admitted that his relationship with his boss was strained, but not enough to drive him to murder.

“I did not kill him. I do not know who killed him. I saw his body and his motorbike on the road. I also reported it to the police,” he said

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