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Third man charged in Takhmao murders

Third man charged in Takhmao murders

A THIRD suspect has been arrested and charged with premeditated murder in connection with the triple murder of three women in Kandal province’s Takhmao district last month.
All three victims were found shot dead on the morning of October 9 at a restaurant adjoining their home, the day after they were believed to have been murdered.

The victims have been identified as 47-year-old Sok Koeu, her daughter, 24-year-old Seng Muoy Kea and a 17-year-old waitress whom police would not name.

Kandal provincial court prosecutor Ouk Kimseth said yesterday that a third suspect, Bun Vuthy, 27, had been arrested and charged with premeditated murder, in addition to two suspects who were charged on Thursday:  Sok Koeu’s 44-year-old nephew Sok Seng, and former soldier Toan Sarom, 30.

“The judge has already ordered [Bun Vuthy] to serve pretrial detention pending further investigations,” he said.

He said Bun Vuthy was arrested on Friday in Kampong Speu province’s Baset district, where he had been hiding following the arrests of his two accomplices. If found guilty, each suspect faces between 15 and 20 years in prison.

Kandal provincial police chief Iv Chamroeun said last week that “according to our investigation and from the testimony of the suspects, Sok Seng killed his aunt, her daughter and the waitress after Sok Koeun did not give him US$2,000 to borrow.”

Sok Seng told police following his arrest that the trio went to visit his aunt to request the loan on October 8, which was approved by her daughter, but who said she would have to wait for her mother to return from the market.

However, when Sok Koeu returned to the house she refused the loan.

“Sok Seng then asked his colleagues, who were waiting outside, to rob her,” Iv Chamroeun said on Thursday.

They then tied up all three victims and demanded the money, but Sok Koeu refused though she had $10,000 hidden under her mattress.

Sok Seng then used Toan Sarom’s gun to shoot all three women in the head, before the men fled the scene on motorbikes and making off with “some cash and jewellery”.

Am Sam Ath, a technical supervisor for the rights group Licadho, yesterday welcomed the arrests, but stressed that court officials work “in a thorough way to make sure they are the real killers to provide justice for the victims”.

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