Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Cousin’s courtroom confession

Cousin’s courtroom confession

Chum Vireak, one of the seven suspects in the premeditated murder case is photographed outside Phnom Penh court yesterday.
Chum Vireak, one of the seven suspects in the premeditated murder case is photographed outside Phnom Penh court yesterday. Niem Chheng

Cousin’s courtroom confession

A man accused of the premeditated murder of his cousin confessed at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday that he struck the fatal blows that killed 19-year-old Von Ratha.

In May of last year, the body of Ratha, a female student, was found inside an abandoned home in Phnom Penh’s Dangkor district. Police arrested seven people in connection with the murder the same day.

“I confess that I was the perpetrator. But I didn’t intend to kill her. I just wanted to knock her unconscious so I could take her belongings,” said Chum Vireak, who claimed to be a drug user desperate for money to fund his addiction.

He said he called Ratha and told her to meet him and his friends, co-defendants Hong Sochota, 21, and Lim Panhavoan, 22. When she arrived, he brought her to the abandoned home.

“I brought her to the old house and used a brick to hit her on the forehead two times,” he said.

Vireak said after the victim collapsed, he and his two accomplices took her iPhone and motorcycle. The phone was then sold for $70 while the motorcycle was hidden at a rental room in Sen Sok district.

Four other men were arrested at the rental house and charged with harbouring stolen goods.

Vireak, Sochota and Panhavoan were all charged with premeditated murder and face possible life sentences. The hearing will continue on February 17.

MOST VIEWED

  • US names new ambassador to Cambodia

    US President Donald Trump on Friday appointed W Patrick Murphy as the new US Ambassador to Cambodia, replacing incumbent William A Heidt. A press release posted on the White House’s website said nominee W Patrick Murphy is currently acting principal deputy assistant secretary at

  • Kingdom is at a crossroads between East, West after poll

    It was dubbed a success by caretaker prime minister Hun Sen after the electoral victory of his Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), which is poised to take all seats in the National Assembly. But the July 29 national election has not been positively looked at by

  • Western poll flak is ‘pressure to take the Kingdom hostage’

    After last month’s national elections brought praise for the orderly manner they were run and managed, the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) spokesman Sok Eysan dismissed criticism from the West as a “violation of the Kingdom’s independence”. He said the attitude of

  • Chinese influence to sweep Kingdom?

    Growing Cambodia-China ties have seen the latter’s influence sweep across the Kingdom through increased investments and tourism. The Asian giant has become the leading source of foreign funds in Cambodia, fuelling the construction sector with huge casino and hotel projects. Much of the growth