The Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday sentenced a 25-year-old Cambodian man to one year in prison – with eight months suspended – and fined him two million riel (about $500) for stealing €4,500 (about $5,585) from his 55-year-old Luxembourgian adoptive father in August.
Defendant Ath Limhour maintained his innocence yesterday but said he would accept the sentence because he couldn’t afford further legal fees and because, having been jailed since August, his sentence was almost up.
In court, Limhour testified that plaintiff George Edmon Heldemon had met with him in a nightclub in Phnom Penh in May and offered to adopt him, allegedly promising to help Limhour find work and pay for him to study English if he agreed to live with him.
Instead, Limhour said, Heldemon reneged on the deal, allegedly coercing him into sexual relations, and accusing him of stealing after he discovered Limhour had been in contact with girls.
Heldemon denied Limhour’s accusations, however, saying he had adopted the younger man out of pity.
He added that he believed Limhour had stolen the money from his room as he was the only person living there and with ready access.