Pursat provincial court has charged a 20-year-old man in connection with the murder of a 6-year-old girl, drawing on a confession in which he described raping her after killing her with blows to the neck and stomach, officials said.
But a provincial court prosecutor said three relatives of the suspect were released despite their role in a foiled bid to cover up the crime.
“We have charged only the perpetrator, Chen Seyha, with intentional murder, rape and robbery because he confessed to killing the girl, then raping her, then taking her ring and bracelet,” Top Chan Sereyvuth said.
Under the UNTAC criminal code, intentional murder alone carries a potential prison sentence of between eight and 15 years.
Police in Phnom Kravanh district, where the crime occurred, said earlier this week that the girl, a cousin of Chen Seyha’s, was reported missing on Friday, and that her body was found on Saturday roughly 200 metres from her house. So Sahong, the deputy district police chief, said her neck was broken, and that she was bruised and bloodied.
Chen Seyha and his brother were arrested in connection with the crime on Sunday after having attempted to flee to Thailand via Battambang province. The following day, police arrested their mother and sister, saying both had assisted in trying to hide the girl’s clothes from police.
Provincial police chief Lok Sary said Chen Seyha confessed to the crime yesterday morning. “He first hit the girl in the neck and later hit her in the stomach with his knee twice,” he said. “The perpetrator later confessed to raping the girl’s body after she was killed and then dumping her body in the forest.”
He added that the three relatives “confessed to assisting the perpetrator by hiding the girl’s clothes and attempting to keep the crime secret”, but that they had been released after their questioning sessions were completed.