Three family members were sentenced to 20 years in prison and fined 3 million riels (US$712) each on Monday in connection with the murder of a Fisheries Department official in Kampong Thom province in 2008. Phnom Penh Municipal Court Judge Kor Vandy said the trio – husband and wife Chhum Sophea and Meach Sithol and their son, Chhum Sophearith – had been found guilty of conspiracy and premeditated murder in connection with the killing. “This is a crime in which the murderers planned ahead to kill the victim,” said Kor Vandy, who presided over the case. A son-in-law of Chhum Sophea and Meach Sithol, Kit Hing Kiet, received a 20-year jail sentence in absentia, as he is currently on the run, Kor Vandy added. On December 22, 2008, the recently appointed head of the Kampong Thom provincial Fisheries Department, Ek Theng, was found dead of stab wounds in his office. Kor Vandy said Chhum Sophea, who had been employed at the department for many years, was jealous of Ek Theng’s promotion and had ordered his wife, son and son-in-law to murder the newcomer.
Family Crime: Killers of govt official sentenced