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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Hun Sen's nephew jailed for killings

Hun Sen's nephew jailed for killings


PRIME Minister Hun Sen's nephew Nhim Sophea, 22, was sent to prison yesterday for

18 months for his involvement in the shooting of three people with an AK-47 assault

rifle in central Phnom Penh last October.

Nhim Sophea.

His accomplice, Sam Doeun, who is still at large, was sentenced to 10 years' jail

in absentia.

Sophea was convicted of unpremeditated murder and sentenced by Judge Tan Senarong

to a total of three years' jail, 18 months to be served immediately, and 18 months

suspended, with five years on probation.

Sentence was passed after a two-hour closed hearing at the Municipal Court. Police

guards prevented the public and media entering the courtroom. Details of the sentencing

were obtained from court staff.

The sentencing brings closure to an incident that shocked Cambodia when a four-car

convoy driven at high speed allegedly by the sons of influential families, plowed

into a truck parked to unload coconuts on Sihanouk Boulevard near Olympic Stadium

about 11 pm October 27.

People were injured, their friends protested angrily and in the aftermath Sophea

allegedly pulled the gun from a car and sprayed bullets around, killing three people.

Four others were injured, either in the collision or by bullets.

Sophea claimed the gun was fired while he was trying to grab it from Doeun and stop

him shooting people.

Dy Borima, Nhim Sophea's lawyer, told reporters briefly outside the court: "I

cannot say anything now; the court has sentenced my client for unpremeditated killing.

I have not decided whether to complain to the court of appeal yet; I will discuss

this with my client."

The trial of Nhim Sophea had been postponed several times due to what was said to

be lack of evidence since he was arrested in late November. Previous hearings were

open to the public.

Nobody has yet been charged with offences relating to the collision with the truck

and the resulting injuries.

Nhim Sophea is the son of Nhim Chandara, an under-secretary of state at the Ministry

of Foreign Affairs, and Hun Sinath, Hun Sen's younger sister.



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