Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Murder plot trial continues

Murder plot trial continues

Murder plot trial continues

110119_4a
Seng Chenda, the wife of tycoon Khaou Chuly, is led into Phnom Penh Municipal Court for a hearing yesterday.

Phnom Penh Municipal Court reconvened yesterday to hear a third round of testimony in the case of an alleged attempted murder plot involving members of two prominent families.

Seng Chenda, the wife to tycoon Khaou Chuly, and four accomplices have been charged with attempting to murder Suv Chantha, Khaou Chuly’s daughter from a previous wife. Suv Chantha is married to Sun Chanthol, vice chairman of the Council for the Development of Cambodia and a former minister of public works.

All five accused have pleaded not guilty.

Yin Sophearith and Khorn Lak, both of whom worked as security guards for Khaou Chuly, gave testimony yesterday.

On the night of the alleged crime, June 13, Yin Sophearith said he was at his home with his mother and relatives, “who will come as witnesses to prove my innocence”.

Yin Sophearith said he had been seriously injured shortly before the alleged crime, seeking to cast doubts on his supposed role in the plot.

“I had suffered a serious traffic accident on May 9 ... and I was treated for my injury at the hospital for five days before being allowed to receive medical treatment at home,” he said.  

Like Chan Sokha and Neang Sinath, who testified in previous hearings, Yin Sophearith said his previous confessions were given under duress.

“About five or six police officials, including Excellency Sun Chanthol’s two bodyguards, beat me several times and slapped me in the face at my workplace, and then pushed me into their car to go to the Ministry of Interior police station for interrogations,” he said.

He denied knowledge of the attempted plot, he said, “but they threatened me, telling me that ... my arrest was following an order from Prime Minister Hun Sen”.

Khorn Lak, the fourth defendant to testify, also said police had told him that he was arrested on the orders of the Prime Minister. He said he hadn’t met Seng Chenda or Chan Sokha since he worked at Khaou Chuly’s condo in 1999.

“I deny all my confessions at the Ministry of Interior’s police station, which I made under duress and threats,” he said.

Pal Chandara, an attorney representing Sun Chanthol, said the pair were lying and exaggerating.

“I would like to request the court in the next hearing to allow us ... to show a police video tape while they were being interrogated,” he said.

Seng Chenda, who is accused of masterminding the scheme, took the stand herself and denied all charges when questioned by presiding Judge Sin Visal.

“I have been married to my husband Khaou Chuly since 1995 and I’ve never had any dispute with his daughter Lok Chumteav Suv Chantha or his other 11 children, nor have I ever even met Lokk Chumteav Suv Chantha,” she said.

The court will convene tomorrow all day to hear more testimony from Seng Chenda. The defence has called 16 witnesses, including Khaou Chuly.

Standing outside the courtroom, Khaou Chuly said the charges against his wife had been “fabricated”.

MOST VIEWED

  • Archaeologists find ancient remnant

    A team from the Apsara National Authority (ANA) has discovered a gatekeeper statue’s foot fragment at the Tonle Snguot Temple, within a metre of the toe of a statue found in 2017. ANA spokesman Long Kosal told The Post on Wednesday that the fragment was

  • Hun Sen to the rescue

    Cambodia has won praise for allowing passengers of the MS Westerdam cruise ship to dock at Preah Sihanouk port, thanks to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s humanitarian act. In a message via Twitter on Wednesday, the director-general of the World Health Organisation Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesu

  • EU partially withdraws EBA

    The EU Commission on Wednesday announced the partial withdrawal of the Everything But Arms (EBA) scheme, citing a serious and systematic violation by Cambodia of principles in the four core human and labour rights. The suspension affects one-fifth or €1 billion ($1.08 billion) of Cambodia’s annual

  • Japan calls for policy changes

    Representatives of Japanese companies and investors on Wednesday submitted a list of policy recommendations to the government concerning 21 challenges to the Kingdom’s business climate. Japanese Ambassador to Cambodia Masahiro Mikami and leaders of the Japanese Business Association in Cambodia (JBAC), Japan International Cooperation Agency

  • Trump tweets praise for Kingdom docking ship

    Cambodia continues to earn praise for its humanitarian act of allowing the MS Westerdam cruise ship with more than 2,200 passengers and crew on board to dock at the Preah Sihanouk port. The praise this time comes from none other than US President Donald Trump. “Thank

  • Hate worse than virus, PM says

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Tuesday criticised countries that have cancelled flights with China following the outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV), arguing that such moves amounted to discrimination against the Chinese. In a speech delivered during the groundbreaking ceremony for work on national roads 2