Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - CHRC defends juvenile convict duo

CHRC defends juvenile convict duo

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The CHRC legal team investigating the case of a 14-year-old boy who was sentenced to four years in prison for the alleged murder of his employer by poisoning in Tbong Khmum province. CHIN MALIN VIA FACEBOOK PAGE

CHRC defends juvenile convict duo

The Cambodian Human Rights Committee (CHRC) is reviewing the case of a 14-year-old boy who was sentenced to four years in prison by the Tbong Khmum Provincial Court for attempted murder by poisoning. The boy’s mother said there was no real evidence presented in court against her son.

The investigation by the CHRC was initiated after the boy’s mother, Srey Kuch, wrote a letter to Prime Minister Hun Sen petitioning him to help her son because the court’s decision, she said, was unsubstantiated by any evidence and thus unfair in its outcomes.

“Please help my son. An injustice occurred when a black-hearted boss accused my 14-year-old son, Thorn Dina, of trying to poison him without any clear evidence to support the accusation. He was sentenced to five years in prison in the most unfair manner,” the letter read.

The mother and the boy are residents of Kokir commune’s Chamkar Thmei village in Memot district. Dina was arrested for the attempted murder charge on July 28 last year.

CHRC president Keo Remy then assigned a team to investigate the case. He said the team also met with another child in prison who is 14-year-old and the CHRC will take up the defence of the legal rights of both children.

CHRC deputy president Chin Malin told The Post on January 3 that the CHRC had investigated the case and was providing pro-bono defence counsel and had already filed an appeal on Dina’s behalf in accordance with legal procedures.

“We will defend him free of charge at the Court of Appeal and the team has also already filed a complaint. But the eventual decision will be made at the court’s discretion,” he said.

He also thanked the team for working pro-bono on their days off and the provincial court and police for their cooperation with requests for information.

Am Sam Ath, deputy director for rights group Licadho, said that providing competent legal help to convicts who may be innocent by investigating and intervening where appropriate – especially with child offenders – was an important role that the CHRC can help complement the Kingdom’s legal system.

“If this case is as the family described in their complaint and the child was charged and convicted without any solid evidence, then this is a serious violation of human rights and there must be an investigation,” he said.

He added that in cases where the CHRC team does not find credible evidence of the crimes as alleged by the court, the Ministry of Justice should review the decision.

“If the investigation finds that the decision is unfair and incorrect and there is not enough evidence, it is the competence of the justice ministry and the Supreme Council of the Magistracy to review the verdict and sentence to see whether it is in accordance with statutory guidelines,” he said.

The provincial court issued a statement on December 30 saying that when the trial concluded and they reviewed the evidence presented in court, the trial chamber determined that an older man named Ram Hov, 25, had sent the 14-year-old Dina with a chemical substance to poison the rice and bottled water of the victim.

“The facts showed the guilt of the two accused and the trial chamber sentenced Thorn Dina to four years in prison and ... Ram Hov to five years in prison,” the statement said.


  • Hong Kong firm done buying Coke Cambodia

    Swire Coca-Cola Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed Swire Pacific Ltd, on November 25 announced that it had completed the acquisition of The Coca-Cola Co’s bottling business in Cambodia, as part of its ambitions to expand into the Southeast Asian market. Swire Coca-Cola affirmed

  • Cambodia's Bokator now officially in World Heritage List

    UNESCO has officially inscribed Cambodia’s “Kun Lbokator”, commonly known as Bokator, on the World Heritage List, according to Minister of Culture and Fine Arts Phoeurng Sackona in her brief report to Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of November 29. Her report, which was

  • NagaWorld union leader arrested at airport after Australia trip

    Chhim Sithar, head of the Labour Rights Supported Union of Khmer Employees at NagaWorld integrated casino resort, was arrested on November 26 at Phnom Penh International Airport and placed in pre-trial detention after returning from a 12-day trip to Australia. Phnom Penh Municipal Court Investigating Judge

  • Takeo hand-woven silk items provide local high-quality alternative to imports

    After graduating from university and beginning her career as a civil servant at the the Ministry of Economy and Finance, Khieu Sina found time to establish a business that aligns with her true passion – quality hand-woven Khmer goods. Her product line, known as Banteay Srei,

  • Two senior GDP officials defect to CPP

    Two senior officials of the Grassroots Democratic Party (GDP) have asked to join the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), after apparently failing to forge a political alliance in the run-up to the 2023 general election. Yang Saing Koma, chairman of the GDP board, and Lek Sothear,

  • Sub-Decree approves $30M for mine clearance

    The Cambodian government established the ‘Mine-Free Cambodia 2025 Foundation’, and released an initial budget of $30 million. Based on the progress of the foundation in 2023, 2024 and 2025, more funds will be added from the national budget and other sources. In a sub-decree signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen