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Quartet tried over fatal armed robbery in Phnom Penh

Pich Sonet (left) and Nhem Kannitha (right) leave the Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday afternoon after a hearing.
Pich Sonet (left) and Nhem Kannitha (right) leave the Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday afternoon after a hearing. Pha Lina

Quartet tried over fatal armed robbery in Phnom Penh

Four suspects were tried at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday for a murder and robbery that took place last year.

On December 11, Din Dararith, 21, was shot dead and his Honda Dream motorbike was stolen. Police arrested two suspects, Pen Chamnab, 18, and Set Mat Rozet, 22, in Russey Keo.

Hours later, military police hunted down suspects Taing Mey and Mat Lim in Prek Pnov district, where a gunfight erupted, killing both.

Mey’s girlfriend, Pich Sonet, 22, and Lim’s girlfriend, Nhem Kannitha, 20, were both arrested at the scene.

All four were charged with theft with aggravating circumstances resulting in death, which carries a sentence of 15 to 30 years.

At yesterday’s hearing, Chamnab and Rozet denied involvement in the robbery. They said Mey, Sonet and Lim dropped off the motorbike at their house, and claimed they had never previously met Mey or Lim.

Sonet, who was holding her newborn baby during the trial, confessed that she went with her boyfriend Mey to leave the motorbike at the rental house. Kannitha, Lim’s girlfriend, denied any involvement.

“I didn’t run because I didn’t do anything wrong”, she said. “But the police still arrested me.”

Judge Heng Kesaro said Rozet is facing another eight charges, and Chamnab another nine, for a series of robberies.

Prosecutor Seng Hieng maintained Rozet and Chamnab were involved in an organised criminal gang.

A verdict is due on August 12.

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