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Court tries farmers in ‘kidnapping’

Two farmers were tried yesterday by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court for allegedly threatening and kidnapping the wife of a senior provincial official in Kratie province, and stealing $30,000 from the couple in October last year.

Judge Te Sam Ang said that the deputy director’s wife, Heng Vandeth, 51, and farmer Yin Touch, 35, had recently commenced a sexual relationship, when Touch threatened to tell her husband about their ongoing affair unless she left him to live with Touch and his sister, Yin Naihoeung, 45, in Kampong Chhnang province.

According to Ang, Vandeth feared her husband’s reaction and a public scandal, and therefore decided to leave her family without a word.

“When Vandeth left, she took $30,000, and valuable jewelry,” Ang said. “She also spent her own money to build a house for [Touch].”

When Touch was arrested 20 days later, his sister removed the remaining money and jewelry from his house, but returned them to the victim later.

During yesterday’s hearing, Touch and Naihoeung denied the accusations.

Touch said: “We both love each other very much, so she decided to leave her family to live with me.”

If found guilty, Touch and Naihoeung face up to two years imprisonment, as well as a fine of up to $1,000 each.

The verdict will be rendered on February 12.

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