A 21-year-old man who murdered a major with the Ministry of Defence in broad daylight six months ago was sentenced to life in prison at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday.
“The court has decided to change the charge from murder as in Article 199 [of the Criminal Code] to premeditated murder as in Article 200,” said Presiding Judge Chea Sokchandeth. “Mey Kimheng, 21, will be sentenced to life in prison for premeditated murder.”
On June 21, mathematics student Kimheng stabbed the victim, Ly Davy, in the back with a knife from his motorbike as she was walking down the street on her way to the market in the capital’s Tuol Kork district.
In his confession, Kimheng had said Davy disrespected him, and would spit in his direction every time she passed him, prompting him to plot her murder. The court’s decision to change the charge resulted in a vastly longer sentence.
Kimheng had previously been charged with murder, an offence punishable by imprisonment of only 10 to 15 years.
The court yesterday also ordered Kimheng to pay 80 million riel (about $20,000) in compensation to Davy’s family.
“Compensation is not important to me. That 80 million riel cannot buy a life back,” said Ly Honda, Davy’s brother. “What I need is justice, and now I have gotten justice.”
Kimheng and his family declined to speak to reporters yesterday.