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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Killer karaoke charges heard

Killer karaoke charges heard

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A pair of Korean women accused of strangling a fellow Korean national to death in Phnom Penh’s Toul Kork district last year faced murder charges yesterday at Phnom Penh Municipal Court.

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The suspects – who worked as hostesses at Venus Karaoke – Kim Jung Rye, 37, and Cho Mina, 32, were arrested in Toul Kork district in early June and charged with murdering 43-year-old Korean national Jeong Woochol, who at the time was the boyfriend of Kim Jung Rye.

Deputy prosecutor Seang Sok said the two suspects killed Jeong Woochol by strangling him to death with electric wires and nylon string in the bathroom of his condo in Boeung Kak I commune.

He said that the victim was a frequent customer at Venus Karaoke and had been dating Kim Jung Rye before his murder.

On the day of his death, June 6, the deputy prosecutor claimed the victim met with his girlfriend in his condo, where the couple had an argument regarding Kim Jung Rye’s employment at the karaoke parlour.

After this row, he said the duo teamed to strangle the victim to death.

“Based on real proof, research and investigation, the two suspects indeed killed the victim, using nylon string and electric wires to strangle his neck,” the deputy prosecutor said.

Both suspects denied the charges in court yesterday, claiming that the victim had strangled himself to death because he was drunk and upset.

Kim Jung Rye said she was in love with Jeong Woochol for two months before his death.

She claimed that they would frequently argue because the victim was unhappy that she would not quit her job at the karaoke parlour.

She added that on the night of the conflict, she was with him at the condo for a time, but left following the argument about her employment.

“When I entered [the condo], I checked the bathroom and saw my boyfriend had committed suicide by strangling his neck,” she said. 

“I would like to ask the court to drop the charges against me.”

Judge Duch Kimsorn said the verdict will be handed down on March 9.

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