The Supreme Court on Monday ordered the Appeal Court to review a 2013 robbery-murder case in Kampong Speu province’s Phnom Sruoch district, in which a man was sentenced to 25 years in prison.
Presiding Judge Soeng Panhavuth read the verdict in the absence of defendant Ros Sokhom and defence lawyer Sin Vanny after the hearing on June 24.
He told the court that after studying the case, hearing the defendant’s statements and the conclusions of the defence and the prosecutor, the Appeal Court’s verdict had to be overruled as the evidence had not been properly examined.
“The Supreme Court rejects the Appeal Court’s verdict and returns the case to the Appeal Court for review,” he said.
Defence lawyer Vanny said he had no comment.
On July 16, 2013, Ty Sokhoeun, 36, woke her husband as usual for his shift at a pig slaughterhouse, the court report stated.
A group of people broke into her home after her husband had left for work, assaulting her and ransacking the house for valuables. The exact number of people was unknown.
The intruders escaped after the robbery, with the screams of Sokhoeun’s family alerting neighbours, who reported the incident to Treng Trayoeng commune police.
Police found that Sokhoeun had been stabbed multiple times with a sharp object in the head and body.
The victim was rushed by her family to Kampong Speu Referral Hospital, but she died on the way.
Sokhoeun’s 14-year-old daughter told authorities that on the day of the incident, it was a woman – who she named – that had attacked her and thrown her against a bed.
Soon after, police arrested Sokhom, who was found with blood smeared all over his face “in connection with the murder”, the court report said.
Sokhom maintained his innocence at the June 24 appeal at the Supreme Court, saying: “I truly did not kill [the victim]. My face was smeared with blood because I took her to the hospital. I ask the court to release me.”
According to the court report, many valuable items – including 10 tamloeng (around 375g) of gold, seven tamloeng of platinum, 10 million riel ($2,460) and $3,000 – were stolen.
Sokhom was sentenced by Kampong Speu Provincial Court to 25 years in prison on September 16, 2015, for theft with aggravating circumstances under articles 353 and 360 of the Criminal Code.