The right-hand man of a convicted former Phnom Penh municipal police chief had turned himself in after six years on the lam and was being detained in the Prey Sar correctional centre, officials confirmed yesterday.
Correctional centre chief Sun Lean said Hang Vuthy, 42 – nicknamed Yumareach, or “chief of all devils”, for his vigilance in arresting criminals while a policeman – had turned himself in at rights group Licadho’s head office on Friday.
Hang Vuthy had confessed to hiding in six provinces since a jailbreak with 11 other prisoners in 2006 while awaiting trial on murder charges, Sun Lean said.
Hang Vuthy said he had surrendered because of “unjust accusations” by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court.
“I have never committed any crime or killed Judge Sok Sethamony or attempted to murder General Sao Sokha, former general prosecutor Ouk Savuth, or Kim Davuth as accused,” he said.
“I also did not break out of the prison cell in 2006.”
Four other prisoners had arranged the jailbreak and threatened him into escaping, as they feared he would rat on them to prison guards, he said.
“I want the court to re-try my cases and find justice for me again.”
Military police who arrested him in 2006 had forced him to confess, Hang Vuthy alleged, saying they had covered his head with plastic bags, forced him to sit in ice and beat him with iron sticks.
Kao Sopha, Hang Vuthy’s defence lawyer, said Hang Vuthy had been found guilty on four charges, including the assassination of Sok Sethamony, a Phnom Penh Municipal Court judge, and the attempted murder of National Military Police commander General Sao Sokha, and sentenced to 51 years in absentia.
Hang Vuthy had been close to Heng Pov, formerly the Interior Ministry’s secretary of state and Phnom Penh municipal police chief, who is serving more than 100 years in prison on convictions for multiple crimes, including Sok Sethamony’s assassination.
To contact the reporter on this story: Buth Reaksmey Kongkea at [email protected]