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Uncle tried for killing nephew in capital

The case of a deadly fight in which an uncle was charged with intentional violence with aggravating circumstances for the death of his nephew was heard yesterday at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court.

The accused 53-year-old, Chan Boreth, a fortune teller living in the capital’s Boeung Tompoun neighbourhood who was arrested on May 30 last year, told the court it was not his intention to kill his nephew, 35-year-old police captain Koy Rithy, saying his actions were in self-defence.

“We fought for about 20 minutes, then he pulled his gun from his pocket and pointed it at me. I thought he would fire on me. Then I hit his hand and made the gun fall on the ground. I hit him on the face and he tripped on the gutter in front of the house, and he fell to the ground and died,” Boreth told the court.

Three adult witnesses – the victim’s wife, sister and mother – supported Boreth’s account, although they did not witness Rithy’s fall.

But the victim’s daughter, 9-year-old Rithy Ya, who witnessed the fight, said that after her father fell to the ground, Boreth continued hitting him, which Boreth denied.

Prosecutor Um Sopheak alleged that Boreth’s knowledge of boxing meant he knew how to strike to kill, proving guilt.

“With just one hit, you could break his neck,” he said, stating that Rithy’s autopsy showed neck trauma.

Initially silent, Rithy’s wife, Mam Sophorn, when pressed by the judges, asked for $5,000 in reparations.

A verdict is due on March 22.

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