Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Heng Pov’s attempted murder conviction is upheld

Heng Pov’s attempted murder conviction is upheld

Heng Pov’s attempted murder conviction is upheld

THE Court of Appeal on Thursday upheld the attempted murder conviction of former Phnom Penh municipal police chief Heng Pov in a case concerning an attack on a utility worker, though judges denied a request by the victim’s wife to increase a compensation award.

In 2008, Heng Pov was found guilty of attempted premeditated murder and sentenced to 18 years in prison for an attack that left Kim Daravuth, an employee of state-owned Electricite du Cambodge, paralysed.

The attack apparently stemmed from a dispute over whether Heng Pov had paid a power bill for his home in Kandal province’s Takhmao town.

When Kim Daravuth shut off power to the home after determining that the bill had not been paid, prosecutors said in 2008, Heng Pov ordered him killed.

Two other men were convicted of carrying out the attack and given identical prison sentences, and all three were ordered to pay Kim Daravuth a combined US$800,000 in compensation.

Heng Pov professed his innocence during a hearing on April 30.

“I did not order, facilitate or execute the plan to kill him,” he said. “I never knew Kim Daravuth.”

At the same hearing, Vong Nilina, Kim Daravuth’s wife, demanded that the compensation award be increased to US$1.5 million, telling judges that her husband had required “expensive” medical treatment abroad.

In reading out the court’s ruling on Thursday, however, Judge Chuon Sunleng noted that both the sentence and compensation award “remain the same”.

Vong Nilina expressed her frustration with the ruling on Thursday, saying that Heng Pov deserved a harsher prison sentence.

“I want Heng Pov to get life imprisonment, and the compensation that the court ordered is too little because my husband’s treatment cost a lot,” she said.

Kao Soupha, Heng Pov’s lawyer, also blasted the ruling. “The decision is unjust and is not based on proof or witnesses saying that Heng Pov ordered the men to kill Kim Daravuth,” he said.

Heng Pov, who did not appear in court on Thursday, was arrested in 2006 and has since been sentenced to more than 90 years in prison on a raft of charges, including extortion, kidnapping and murder.

Last month, he released a book titled Strategy to Extinguish War in Cambodia that offers an analysis of recent Cambodian history and politics, and describes Prime Minister Hun Sen as a skilled leader, a move some observers said may have been part of an attempt to secure a pardon.

MOST VIEWED

  • Reuters: US Embassy fired 32 staff members for sharing pornography

    The United States Embassy in Phnom Penh has fired 32 non-diplomatic staff members who were allegedly caught exchanging pornographic images and video, including of minors, according to the news agency Reuters. Four sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Reuters the content was shared in

  • Our 2018 guide to spending Khmer New Year in Phnom Penh

    Khmer New Year festivities are upon us. For the next few days, travellers will be making their way to their home provinces to eat, celebrate, play traditional games and visit a pagoda with offerings. If you will be staying put in Phnom Penh for the

  • US think tank warns of China's 'ulterior motives'

    A US think tank on Tuesday warned that spreading Chinese investment in the Indo-Pacific follows a pattern of leveraging geopolitical influence at the expense of the nations receiving investment, including Cambodia. The report looks at a sample of 15 Chinese port development projects, noting that the

  • More than three tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia seized in Mozambique

    A total of 3.5 tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia was seized by authorities in Mozambique late last week, according to the NGO Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). CITES' information was based on a report from the