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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Man accused of fratricide issues death threat to surviving brother

Man accused of fratricide issues death threat to surviving brother

Father and son claim to have mistaken kin for a Vietnamese intruder, while their attorney argues dead brother was out to kill matriarch

A MAN accused of slaying his younger brother threatened the life of a second younger brother before exiting Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Monday, after the judge failed to issue a verdict.

"When I get out, I will kill you," Lem Heang, 52, told his visibly shaken sibling for not testifying on his behalf.

Prosecutor Ek Chheng Hout, following the recommendation of an investigating judge, is attempting to stick an unintentional killing charge on Lem Heang and his son Lem Hok Nay for the fatal beating and stabbing of Lem Eng, 51, in their home near Phnom Penh's Central Market.

The victim's lawyer is arguing for premeditated murder against claims that the two accused men mistook their relative for a thief.

"I didn't recognize him as my uncle because he entered my house early in the morning, wearing black clothes, black glasses and a colorful hat, which made me think he was a Vietnamese robber," said Lem Hok Nay, 31. "I swear I had no intention of killing my uncle."

Identify unclear

Lem Heang claimed, "I didn't know who had died in my house. It was two days before police told me he was my younger brother.

"I've been in prison for five months and I can stay longer, but I just want to know why my brother came and attacked my house like that."

According to the defense lawyer, Lem Eng entered his older brother's home with several knives, planning to kill the lady of the house for having cheated him in a business deal, when the housekeeper alerted the two defendants to the intrusion and they set upon him.

"This is not a robbery case, but a revenge case," attorney Ty Kim Sream said.

Lem Heang denied feuding over money with his dead brother, who was a prosperous Cambodian national visiting from Canada, but the dead brother's widow wants him to repay a US$110,000 loan and $500,000 in compensation.

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