The Supreme Court on Monday heard the case of three suspects who robbed a woman motorcyclist of 14 million riel ($3,397) and $2,300 in Kampong Cham town, Kampong Cham province on February 5, 2017.
Previously, the provincial court sentenced them to eight years in prison but the Appeal Court lowered the punishment to seven years.
One of the suspects, Suong Eng, 46, told the prosecutor during the Monday hearing that he knew a taxi driver named Pov Sam Oeun, 35.
Eng said he regularly hired Sam Oeun to take him to Trapaing Thlong Casino in Ponhea Kraek district.
Sam Oeun introduced his uncle Sok Sinuon, 57, to Eng and tasked him with driving Eng back to Phnom Penh.
On February 5, 2017, Eng and two others, known as Reaksemy and Mao, armed themselves with a gun and robbed packages of money from a woman riding a motorcycle alone in Kampong Cham commune. Eng then escaped to an unknown location.
After several days, Eng gave $2,300 to Sam Oeun and told him to give $1,000 to Sinuon as a fee for driving him. He stressed that neither of them mentions the crime to anyone.
“I gave money to Sinuon and Sam Oeun. I told the Supreme Court because I asked it to lower my punishment to less than seven years,” Eng said during the trial.
Sinuon told the judge in the hearing at the Supreme Court on Monday that he was a taxi driver and confirmed that he received $1,000 from Eng but he did not participate in the robbery.
Eng told the court: “I filed the complaint to the Supreme Court to ask it to lower my punishment to under seven years because seven years is a very long time.”
Sam Oeun confirmed in the hearing that he is a taxi driver based in Kampong Cham and he used to drive Eng regularly.
“I did not join in the offence and I ask the Supreme Court to lower my punishment,” Sam Oeun told the judge.
According to court records, all three suspects were arrested under a warrant issued by the Kampong Cham Provincial Court on December 13, 2017.
Each of them was sentenced to eight years in prison but they did not agree and requested the Appeal Court to lower their punishment from eight to seven years.
The representative of the prosecutor-general Chum Samban agreed with the suspects and also requested the Appeal Court to reduce their sentences.
“The Appeal Court lowered their punishment from eight to seven years and I would keep to that decision,” Samban said.
Kao Sopheaktra, the lawyer of the three suspects, confirmed Eng’s version of events.
“I asked the court to lower the punishment for Eng and the two other suspects and to lower their crimes from thievery with aggravating circumstances to receiving stolen property,” he said.
After the hearing, Judge Khem Bun said the court would decide on a verdict on June 1.