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Hul Samnang, 17, (left) who was sentenced to 20 years in prison, is escorted though Phnom Penh’s Municipal Court
Hul Samnang, 17, (left) who was sentenced to 20 years in prison, is escorted though Phnom Penh’s Municipal Court yesterday. Hong Menea

Teen gets 20 years in girls’ double murder

Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday sentenced a teenager to 20 years in prison for his involvement in the grisly murder of two teenage girls for a Honda motorbike.

In addition to the jail time, presiding judge Kim Dany ordered 17-year-old Hul Samnang – a student at the Methodist School of Cambodia and friend of the two victims – to pay 60 million riel (about $15,000) in compensation to the victims’ families.

Dany also sentenced 28-year-old Phorn Sarom, a motorbike dealer in Kampong Speu province, to two years in prison for receiving stolen goods, but suspended 14 months of his sentence.

Both men were arrested last July in connection with the murders of Methodist School students Choub Srey Leak, 16, and Vorn Leakhena, 19, who were found bound and strangled in Phnom Penh’s Por Sen Chey district earlier that month.

“Hul Samnang was a classmate and the close friend of two victims,” said Lieutenant Colonel Hin Sokheng, deputy chief of the Municipal Serious Penal Police Unit. “He lured the two victims from the school and took them to go for a ride on the outskirts of the city. But he brought them to meet with his two friends, who are former prisoners and killers, to rob and kill them at a quiet place in Kraing Thnong commune, on the evening of July 22.”

According to police, Samnang’s accomplices – who both remain at large – then sold Leakhena’s motorbike to Sarom.

Both plaintiff and defendant were unhappy with yesterday’s decision, with Samnang maintaining his innocence, and plaintiff Choub Chanthoeun, the sister of victim Choub Srey Leak, saying Samnang’s sentence was too light, and the compensation too small.

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