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New suspect in acid attack

The wife of the first person to die from an acid attack this year was no longer a suspect, police said yesterday.

Choam Kravien commune police chief Chhom Savoeun said Chheng Mao, 50, was not being investigated, adding that she was the fourth wife of the 42-year-old victim, Sim Yi.

“She (Chheng Mao) did not pour acid on her husband, because she took him to the hospital and then she filed the complaint to the police on Friday to arrest the suspect,” he said.

“We are searching for, and intend to arrest, the suspect, who is not Chheng Mao, but I cannot tell you more details about the suspect’s identity because the case is under investigation.”

Memot district police officer Him Sarak earlier told the Post that Chheng Mao had doused Sim Yi and his girlfriend, Srei Leak, 19, with acid in the early hours of Friday morning in Kampong Cham’s Pumron village, and that she had fled.

Sim Yi died of his injuries later that day.

Srei Leak is receiving treatment at the Children’s Surgical Centre in Phnom Penh.

Him Sarak said yesterday he had done an initial case report for provincial police officials on Friday but did not know what had since transpired.

“The district police chief and the commune police chief are undertaking this case,” he said.

Adhoc planned to open a separate investigation into the attack, provincial co-ordinator Neang Sovath said yesterday.

He said he could not judge whether the report of the district or commune police was more accurate.

“When I asked some people, they said Chheng Mao is a gentle woman and she is afraid of her husband,” he said.

“That night, she did not stay at home because she could not stand to see her husband sleep with another woman.”

Sim Yi’s is the first acid-related death since a new Acid Law, designed to better control access to acid and more strictly punish perpetrators of attacks, was passed in December.

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