KANDAL provincial court yesterday charged a 29-year-old man with aggravated attempted murder after he was arrested for dousing his mother-in-law with petrol and setting fire to her house in Kampong Svay commune.
Pa Sam Eth, Kien Svay district police chief, said Kol Kem was arrested on Saturday, hours after he allegedly attempted to kill his mother-in-law Veng Lin, 59, by splashing her with a litre of petrol and setting fire to her cottage.
“We have charged him with aggravated attempted murder,” deputy court prosecutor Bong Bun Visuth said yesterday. “Although he didn’t confess his guilt, we charged him based on the victim’s complaint pending further investigations and a trial.”
Pa Sam Eth said Veng Lin, who shed her fuel-soaked clothes and fled from the house, was lucky to escape with only minor burns to her arm.
“It was very good luck that the woman took off her clothes, leaving her underwear on, and called for help otherwise she would be completely burned,” he said.
“It was a very brutal act for the offender to try to burn his elderly and poor mother-in-law to death.”
He said that police had confiscated a bottle used to carry two litres of petrol and a lighter as evidence.
Pa Sam Eth said that according to the victim’s complaint, the dispute started when she prevented her daughter, 25-year-old Yun Kunthea, from living with Kol Kem, who she claims had beaten her daughter regularly during their two-year marriage. She told police that the beatings had also forced her daughter to abort a pregnancy after four months.
Pa Sam Eth said that Yun Kunthea had not made any compensation demands, requesting that her husband be punished in accordance with law. She told police she could no longer tolerate living with him due to his constant abuse.