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Ratanakkiri robbers plead for lower sentences

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The Appeal Court heard the case of two men who were each sentenced to eight years in prison for armed robbery in Ratanakkiri province’s Banlung town in 2017. POST PIX

Ratanakkiri robbers plead for lower sentences

The Appeal Court on Wednesday heard the case of two men who were each sentenced to eight years in prison for armed robbery in Ratanakkiri province’s Banlung town in 2017.

A police report read by presiding Judge In Vanvibol during the trial said 56-year-old Seng Sem and 47-year-old Pav Toeun robbed a couple of 2.15 million riel ($538) using an AK-47 assault rifle in Yeak Loam commune on the night of April 10, 2017.

After receiving a complaint, police hunted down the suspects and arrested Sem and Toeun, while their alleged accomplice Nin Mon escaped.

On December 21 last year, the provincial court charged the two with aggravated robbery and illegal use of a weapon.

Pleading for a reduced sentence, Toeun told the judge during his trial on Wednesday that he had drunk half a litre of rice wine with Sem before the incident when Mon stopped by and took him out for a ride on his motorbike.

After arriving at a rubber plantation about 170m from the victims’ house, Mon took an AK-47 assault rifle hidden in the farm and two flashlights before picking up Sem and riding to the house.

“Nin Mon lent me 600,000 riel after the robbery. I filed an appeal pleading for a reduced sentence. I realise my mistake,” he said.

Sem said at the hearing that he had toiled in the rice field. He said Nin Mon had persuaded him to accompany him, and when the robbery is successful, he would be given 800,000 riel.

“I’ve been imprisoned for three years, it’s tough. I also filed an appeal asking for a sentence reduction,” he said.

Defence lawyer Khun Lim Sia asked the court to reduce his clients’ sentences as both had admitted their guilt.

Prosecutor Nget Sarath concluded that while Sem and Toeun’s confessions were consistent with the victims’ accounts, they had expressed remorse and thus deserved a lighter sentence.

“The accused admitted their mistakes, so please consider it. I ask the court to reduce their sentences to only six months,” he said.

Judge Vanvibol said a verdict will be announced on December 23.

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