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Debt dispute: Man charged with running down friend

Nearly two weeks after a tycoon allegedly ran down a friend’s family with his Range Rover, a Phnom Penh Municipal judge yesterday charged him with attempted murder.

An officer with the Phnom Penh Municipal Police who spoke on condition of anonymity said he believed the suspect, businessman Nhem Kosal, had fled to Vietnam, eluding arrest.

In addition to attempted murder, Kosal is charged with causing property damage after the alleged June 16 attack that severely injured his friend Ny Sath, 49, along with Sath’s wife and 19-year-old daughter and damaged their car.

The argument that preceded the alleged attack stemmed from a land deal earlier this year, said Tep Liza, Sath’s 41-year-old wife.

A mutual friend had promised Sath and Kosal each a $10,000 commission on land he sold in Tuol Kork district’s Tralork Bek commune because they had helped secure a buyer, Liza said. Kosal hadn’t received a commission yet, and when he found out Sath had been paid, he confronted Sath outside his home at about 11pm on June 16.

“[Kosal] had been arguing with my husband, and had also threatened to kill him,” Liza said.

About half an hour after leaving, Kosal allegedly drove back, honked his horn and drove into all three family members as they stepped outside.

“He was crueler than an animal,” said Sath, who remains in hospital, adding that the family is seeking compensation from Kosal, but hasn’t set an amount.

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