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Suspects deliver testimony in trial over grenade attack

Sak Mab (centre), one of the five suspects charged with premeditated murder as accomplices in a bomb attack last year, leave the Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday.
Sak Mab (centre), one of the five suspects charged with premeditated murder as accomplices in a bomb attack last year, leave the Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday. Niem Chheng

Suspects deliver testimony in trial over grenade attack

A woman accused of masterminding a grenade attack against her ex-boyfriend last year was defiant on the stand yesterday, denying involvement in the attack that injured four bystanders in Phnom Penh’s Boeung Keng Kang III commune last September.

Sok Kimly, 41, is charged with premeditated murder for allegedly ordering the hit on her ex-boyfriend.

Two alleged accomplices – Bun Pheakdey, 32, and Sak Mab, 36 – are charged with premeditated murder. Another two – Nou Somban, 33, and Pheakdey’s girlfriend, Bou Sophea, 25 – are charged as accomplices in premeditated murder. All face life imprisonment if convicted.

Kimly and three other people were convicted and sentenced to 10 years in prison each in June over a separate failed 2015 plot to shoot the same ex-boyfriend.

In her testimony yesterday, Kimly staunchly denied ordering the grenade attack on 36-year-old Ea Lyhour, testifying that she merely told Pheakdey to demand $50,000 from him.

In earlier statements, she told authorities she bought a Lexus, a $10,000 motorbike and a $130,000 flat for Lyhour in the four years they were together.

The grenade, which police say was meant for Lyhour’s nearby shop, instead rolled into Phnom Penh’s Street 163 and exploded, injuring several people last September.

“If the grenade exploded there, my house would be damaged,” Kimly said in her defence. “I have not learned how to write Khmer, so I just gave my thumbprint when they asked me to and I am afraid of the police. If I wanted to kill him, I could have poisoned or strangled him, so I can kill him slowly or quickly.”

But she was contradicted in court by Pheakdey, a security company employee, who testified that Kimly asked him to kill Lyhour.

“[Kimly] told me to watch Lyhour and asked whether I dare to kill him or not,” Pheakday said. “I said that I do not dare to kill him. She said then go and find a person who dares to kill then.”

Pheakdey said that he and the two other accomplices recruited Mab. It was Mab, he testified, who ultimately suggested using a grenade and dropped the explosive that day.

Officials say Mab was offered $7,000 for the hit.

The trial will continue tomorrow, when Mab, Lyhour, and other witnesses are expected to testify.

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