The Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday heard the retrial of Hang Vuthy – former right-hand man of disgraced ex-municipal police chief Heng Pov – in the case of the 2003 attempted murder of National Military Police Commander Sao Sokha.
Presiding judge Top Chhunheng said that Vuthy – the ex-deputy chief of Phnom Penh’s serious crimes police, who was given the nickname the “Chief of All Devils” for his tenacity – had previously been sentenced in absentia in 2009 to more than 60 years in prison for the murder attempt and a raft of other crimes. But he added that Vuthy had requested a retrial after surrendering in 2012. He was initially arrested in 2006, but broke out six months later.
Vuthy yesterday maintained his innocence, saying his confession had been tortured out of him by military police after his 2006 arrest.
“The National Military Police shocked me with electricity and tortured me to confess to the crimes. They kicked and beat me. They jumped on my chest,” he told the court.
Vuthy also denied having assassinated judge Sok Sethamony, among other charges.
Colonel Ung Depo, a National Military Police officer, denied the torture allegations.
But Chan Hourn, Vuthy’s defence lawyer, maintained the prosecution had “no real evidence” with which to convict his client.
A verdict is due to be given April 30.