A man and his mistress who plotted to brutally murder the man’s wife and make off with thousands of dollars in cash and jewellery have been sentenced to 15 years for murder.
The pair, whom the court found were having an affair, stabbed and slashed the victim to death with knives in Phnom Penh in October last year, the presiding judge told Phnom Penh Municipal Court.
Judge Kor Vandy said Soeu Lou Heng, 32, and Prak Sovann Vorleak, 23, had intentionally killed Kour Lichou, 34, who was three months' pregnant, at the family home in the capital’s Chbar Ampov I commune on October 10.
After the callous killing, Lou Heng grabbed his deceased wife’s valuables, including a diamond-studded bracelet, two diamond rings and $13,000 in cash, before making his escape.
Lichou is survived by her 1-year-old son.
“Based on the hearing and reviewing the evidence, the court has found that Soeu Lou Heng and Prak Sovann Vorleak are guilty. So the court has decided to sentence them both to 15 years,” Vandy said. The pair were charged with intentional murder, he added.
“The two accused have the right to appeal this court’s decision at the Court of Appeal within three days if they do not accept [the ruling],” Vandy said.
Second Lieutenant Hun Sophal, chief of Chbar Ampov I commune police, said the two convicts were arrested in Chamkarmon district shortly after they had killed the victim.
He added that police believed the pair intended to kill the victim so that they could then marry each other.
“They were having an affair. They wanted to marry and live together. So they prepared a plot and conspired to kill the victim,” he said. “After killing his wife, he collected a number of valuable things, including a diamond bracelet, two diamond rings, $13,000 and many million riels, and escaped.”
The two convicts and their lawyers declined to comment after the ruling was handed down yesterday.