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Huong handed over

Lay Huong (right) is escorted from the Phnom Penh Municipal Court
Lay Huong (right) is escorted from the Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday morning after she was repatriated from Thailand on Tuesday night. Pha Lina

Huong handed over

The former common law wife of a prominent tycoon was repatriated from Thailand on Tuesday night after being arrested there for her alleged masterminding of a convoluted and ultimately unsuccessful plot to assassinate the wife of Cambodian Commerce Minister Sun Chanthol, police said yesterday.

Major General Chhay Bunna, chief of the Poipet International Checkpoint on the Thai border, said that Lay Huong, who was arrested last month in Thailand, had been sent across by Thai Interpol officers at about 9pm on Tuesday.

“After receiving her from the Thais, she was soon sent by car to the Ministry of Interior in Phnom Penh,” he said.

While Huong appeared at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday, a senior officer at the Penal Police Department at the Ministry of Interior who asked not to be named said that Huong was slated to be sent again for questioning this morning.

Huong, 49, was in a long-term relationship with tycoon Khaou Phallaboth, himself the eldest son of well-known tycoon Khaou Chuly.

She was sentenced in absentia to life in prison in 2012 for purportedly arranging the rape and murder of Chanthol’s wife, Sun Sotha – who was also Khaou Chuly’s stepdaughter – though a locked window foiled the assailants, the victims maintained.

Huong’s accomplices included Seng Chenda – the wife of Khaou Chuly – her bodyguard Sok Lak, and cleaners Chan Sokha and Neang Sinath, all of whom were handed sentences ranging from 18 to 20 years in prison.

Neither Huong nor her defence lawyer, Ty Kimsrean, could be reached for comment yesterday.

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