Ea Try (L) is escorted by a guard outside the Court of Appeal in Phnom Penh. Photograph: Vireak Mai/Phnom Penh Post
The Appeal Court yesterday heard the case of an elderly man convicted of beating a woman to death during an attempt to steal her chickens in Kampot province’s Teuk Chhou district in 2009.
Presiding judge Samrith Sophal said that Ea Try, 68, was arrested in Bos Nhinh village in Konsat commune in May 2009 and sentenced to 17 years in prison for murder by Kampot Provincial Court in January of 2010.
“He entered the victim’s house at night in order to steal her chickens to sell in exchange for wine to drink,” he said.
“He used a big stick, and beat the house’s owner when she saw him and shouted ‘thief, thief’ for help from other neighbours.”
According to Sophal, Try also badly beat the victim’s 15-year-old daughter, who survived the attack.
“He was old, but very cruel,” Sophal added.
Deputy prosecutor Hean Rith said that, according to villagers and police reports, Ea Try was a drunkard and was known in Bos Nhinh village for stealing chickens in order to buy wine.
Ea Try himself admitted that this was the case, but denied having murdered anyone.
“I did not know about the killing of the victim,” he said. “I did not beat or kill her. I am an innocent person. I would like to ask the court to drop the charges against me and release me.”
The court will announce a verdict on December 4, 2012.
To contact the reporter on this story: Buth Reaksmey Kongkea at firstname.lastname@example.org