Six months after lodging an appeal in one of the highest-profile court cases in recent years, Seng Chenda, the 48-year-old wife of construct-ion and engineering tycoon Khaou Chuly, is set to appear in court today seeking to overturn her conviction for the attempted murder of her stepdaughter.
Seng Chenda was sent-enced to 20 years in jail in February for her role in masterminding a murder plot that targeted Sun Sotha, Khaou Chuly’s daughter from a previous marriage.
Three other defendants – security guard Khorn Lak and maids Chan Sokha and Neang Sinath – were also found guilty of participating in the scheme. They were sentenced to between 18 and 20 years in prison each.
Seng Chenda’s defence lawyer, Lim Vanna, maintained his client’s innocence yesterday, before an Appeal Court hearing due to take place today.
“I have already prepared new evidence that will prove my client’s innocence,” Lim Vanna said.
“I strongly hope that the Court of Appeal will find just-ice for my client.”
Consistent with claims made at the dramatic trial, Lim Vanna continued to accuse Sun Chanthol, the husband of attempted murder victim Sun Sotha, of framing Seng Chenda.
Sun Chanthol is the vice-chairman of the Council for the Development of Cambodia and a former minister of public works and transport.
During the trial, the three additional defendants involved in the case accused both police and Sun Chanthol of forcing confessions that ultimately led authorities to Seng Chenda.
Sun Chantol’s lawyer, Pal Chandara, denied these alle-gations yesterday, saying his client was a “senior official of the Royal Government of Cambodia” with a “prestigious name” and had no time for “being involved with this thing”.
He also threatened to sue the accusers for defamation.
“I will consider filing a defamation lawsuit against those who publicly say that His Excellency Sun Chanthol was behind this case,” Pal Chandara said.