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

  • Omicron patients can stay home: PM

    The Ministry of Health has issued a directive on the treatment of people who have tested positive for the highly transmissible Omicron coronavirus variant, following a suggestion from Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of January 21. The directive permits home quarantine for those who

  • The effects of the USD interest rate hike on Cambodian economy

    Experts weigh in on the effect of a potential interest rate expansion by the US Federal Reserve on a highly dollarised Cambodia Anticipation of the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike in March is putting developing economies on edge, a recent blog post by

  • Cambodia’s first ever anime festival kicks off Jan 22 at capital’s F3 centre

    Phnom Penh's first ever Anime Festival will bring together fans, artists, shops and other local businesses with ties to the Japanese animation style for cosplay competitions, online games, pop-up shops and more on January 22, with Friends Futures Factory (F3) hosting. F3 is a project that

  • Hun Sen gets 4th Covid shot, urges compatriots to follow

    Prime Minister Hun Sen and his wife Bun Rany on January 14 received their fourth dose of Covid-19 vaccine and called on compatriots to follow suit as the Omicron coronavirus variant continues to spread in the community. This marks the launch of Cambodia's fourth-dose vaccination campaign,

  • Fourth dose Covid booster drive jabs 43K in two days

    In the first two days of the fourth-dose Covid-19 vaccination campaign, more than 43,000 people volunteered to get the jabs, while over 4.6 million people have received a third shot. Health ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said that fourth-dose vaccinations, which began on January 14 exclusively with the Pfizer

  • Singapore backs Cambodia's efforts on Myanmar

    Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong supports Cambodia in its efforts to seek a solution to the ongoing Myanmar crisis as the chair of ASEAN. Lee expressed his support during a meeting with Prime Minister Hun Sen via videoconference on January 14, with the talks focused