Kampong Chhnang Provincial Court yesterday sentenced six people – five of them in absentia – to 13 years in prison for the January killing of a newspaper reporter, presumably for his coverage of their involvement in illegal fishing in Cholkiri district, a court official said yesterday.
Court clerk Hem Srey Phea said yesterday that defendants Yung Thea Leng, Yim Nak, Yim Non, Yim Nit, Rom Ra and Sang Sen Eang were also to be fined five million riel each (about $1,250) to be paid to victim Suon Chann’s family.
“Six people were sentenced, but only one of them was picked up,” Srey Phea said, referring to Thea Leng, who was arrested last month. “The rest were sentenced in absentia.”
Captain Tith Reth, a Cholkiri district police officer, said at the time of the killing that Chann had been ambushed by assailants and “had stones thrown at him, and was beaten with … bamboo by a group of five people while he was walking out of his house alone”. He died en route to hospital.