Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - ‘Murder-robbery’ convict pleads innocence

‘Murder-robbery’ convict pleads innocence

‘Murder-robbery’ convict pleads innocence

An accused told the Appeal Court on Monday that he was in Preah Sihanouk province when a gold vendor was shot four times and killed in 2012, and his bag full of jewellery stolen.

“The others just put the blame on me. I do not know those three people who are said to be my friends,” Sem Sathya told the court as he appealed for his release.

The “others” he was referring to were those suspects who were arrested with him in 2014 – Sok Sopheak, Sun Vannak and Lay Sophat.

Court documents show that on March 14, 2012, the suspects shot the vendor four times with a K59 pistol, killing him and making off with the bag full of jewellery he was carrying.

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court issued a verdict on June 25, 2015. Sopheak and Sathya were each sentenced to 17 years’ imprisonment, while the other two were released.

During the hearing on Monday, Sathya told the presiding judges that prior to the murder-robbery case, he had been jailed twice in connection with drug trafficking (and hence, he was not a killer).

Phou Povsun, one of the three judges, argued that the convict had been asked to provide evidence to prove if he really was in Preah Sihanouk on the day of the incident, but he failed to present any evidence or even a witness at his trial.

“Police showed the witness some photos [the suspected perpetrators]. The witness pointed at your photo because they had seen you brawling with and shoting the victim,” the judge told Sathya.

Prosecutor Sar Yuos Thavarak concluded that according to the findings, the convict is guilty of what he was charged of.

He said that Sathya’s sentence was “appropriate”, and thus the court should uphold the municipal court’s verdict of 2015.

However, Sathya’s attorney Sieng Siveayo cast doubt on the police report and the witness’ ability to tell the real perpetrators from thepresented photos.

“The case happened in 2012 and my client was arrested in 2014, which means it is not a case of him being caught red-handed."

“Police did not see my client committing the crime. Therefore, I call for my client’s release,” he told the judges.

In March, Sopheak’s lawyer urged the court to drop the charges following his argument that Sopheak was not at the scene of the murder-robbery.

Judge Tith Sothyboraleak said the verdict of the hearing will be announced on Friday, December 7.

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Education’ a priority traffic-law penalty

    A top National Police official on June 21 neither rejected nor confirmed the authenticity of a leaked audio message, which has gone viral on social media, on a waiver of fines for a number of road traffic-related offences. General Him Yan, deputy National Police chief in

  • Pursat Ford assembly plant opens

    The Kingdom’s first Ford assembly plant was inaugurated on June 16 in Pursat province amid rising demand for brand-new vehicles among Cambodians. The facility is seen as a game changer for the domestic automobile industry, which could bring a wave of investors seeking to cash

  • Siem Reap’s $18M zoo said to educate public, help wildlife

    Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium Co Ltd has invested $18 million in a zoo in Siem Reap province, which will be opened in October to educate and promote animal conservation as well as attract national and international tourists. Currently, the Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium is building the

  • Volunteer scheme to foster ‘virtuous’ humanitarian spirit

    A senior education official said volunteer work contributes to solidarity and promotes a virtuous humanitarian spirit among the youth and communities. Serei Chumneas, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, made the comment during the opening of a training programme called “

  • $50B infrastructure plan en route

    The government’s upcoming $50 billion,10-year infrastructure master plan will provide tremendous investment opportunities for domestic and foreign entities, transport experts and economists say. Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol revealed the plan to Japanese ambassador to Cambodia Masahiro Mikami on June 15. At

  • Chinese firms unveil preliminary results on metro, monorail for capital

    Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol and representatives from China Road and Bridge Corp (CRBC) and its parent company, the state-owned China Communications Construction Co Ltd (CCCC), met on June 24 for talks on results of the firms’ preliminary study on a potential metro