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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Unborn baby’s death could set precedent

Alleged murderer Sear Kroal, 25, is pictured after his arrest on Friday.
Alleged murderer Sear Kroal, 25, is pictured after his arrest on Friday. PHOTO SUPPLIED

Unborn baby’s death could set precedent

A man accused of killing his heavily pregnant wife in Tbong Khmum province has been charged with the murder of both the woman and her unborn child.

According to Tbong Khmum penal police chief Chork Sok Kao, suspect Sear Kroal, 25, claimed an intruder entered the house and bludgeoned 22-year-old Born Srey Mom with a hammer in the early hours of Friday morning.

But police investigations established that he was the only other person present at the time of the crime.

“He did not admit to it in front of the authorities, but investigating judge Nou Chansokunthear charged him with intentional murder,” he said.

The incident reportedly occurred following a domestic dispute between the pair at their home in Memot district’s Makos village, with later reports suggesting a bladed weapon may have been involved.

With Kroal facing a charge for murdering his unborn child, the Child Protection Unit (CPU) – an NGO that collaborates with Cambodian police to investigate the rape and murder of children – has been called in to assist local authorities.

CPU director James McCabe said it was the first time the unit had dealt with the murder of an unborn child and could set a legal precedent. “The courts will need to consider at which point an unborn child becomes a person with legal rights,” he said.

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