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Kampot acid attackers guilty

Kampot acid attackers guilty

THE Kampot Provincial Court found three people guilty of premeditated murder on Tuesday for the gruesome January 2008 acid attack that killed Thom Saroeun, 46, and her 3-year-old granddaughter, Thai Srey Thim.

Only one attacker, Mom Ton, 27, was in court, while two others - Mao Yan, described as the "mastermind", and Chok Heng - remain on the run and were convicted in absentia.

Presiding Judge Pich Chhoeut sentenced Mom Ton to 16 years in prison, while the Mao Yan and Chok Heng received 18 years and 16 years respectively.

The judge also ordered the three to pay 10 million riels (US$2,412) in compensation.

Fueled by jealous rage, Mao Yan had Mom Ton, her son, and Chok Heng, her nephew, kill Thom Saroeun after Mao Yan became convinced the woman was having an affair with her husband, according to the rights group Licadho.

Yun Phally, a Kampot-based researcher for Licadho who was present at the court, said the decision "is very acceptable and it really gives a complete justice to the deceased victims and the living ones, although the compensation was not the 30 million riels that the victims requested."

The father of the murdered child, Sat Kunthea, told the Post, "I am very happy and accept the court's verdict, because it gives me justice, especially to convict the other two in absentia".

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