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Court tries three in murder case

PHNOM Penh Municipal Court yesterday heard the case against three men charged in connection with the murder and robbery of a woman, who two of the suspects allegedly killed by spiking her drink with sleeping pills and beating her with a tyre iron.

Military official An Sophoeun, 35, and his accomplice Meng Ly, 27, were arrested in May after allegedly killing the woman by spiking her drink on March 15, before stealing her vehicle and dumping her beaten body in Preah Vihear province. Both suspects were charged with premeditated murder.

Vietnamese national Din Yong Dav was arrested and charged with receiving stolen goods after buying the vehicle for more than US$5,000.

During the hearing yesterday, Meng Ly confessed to the charges after previously denying any involvement in the plot. He said An Sophoeun called him to come to Phnom Penh with the promise of “a job for me to do”.

“I came to a suburban restaurant in Preak Leap commune, where the victim also came with her mini-Lexus,” he told the court. “She drank with us and during that time, I put more than 10 sleeping pills in her alcoholic drink until she felt sleepy.”

“Then An Sophoeun told me to carry her to her car to leave for Preah Vihear province. He drove the car and ordered me to beat her ... until she died.”

An Sophoeun denied the charges and asked for a postponement until his lawyer was present. He told the court that he knew the victim, as they conducted business with each other in Kampong Cham province’s Prey Chhor district.

Presiding Judge Kor Vandy said the new hearing is scheduled for December 6, and would go ahead regardless of whether An Sophoeun found a lawyer or not.

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