The leader of a brutal 2015 murder in Tbong Khmum province’s Memot district asked the Appeal Court on Monday to reduce his sentence of life imprisonment.
According to police records, on August 27, 2015, 19-year-old Chin Srim asked his friend Heng Sokmean, 22, to buy him a motorbike.
Sokmean agreed, and the next day invited Srim and the victim, Ly Ravuth, to consume drugs with him. When Ravuth arrived on a motorbike, Sokmean told him to pick up some of the drugs that fell to the ground.
As he was doing so, Sokmean hit the victim over the head with a stick. As he passed out, Sokmean and his three accomplices, including Srim, stabbed the victim repeatedly.
The assailants then decided to hide the body in the forest by wrapping it in a bag and covering the odour with perfume. Nonetheless, it was discovered two days later.
Tbong Khmum Provincial Court, which heard the case, sentenced Sokmean to life in prison, and his accomplices, Srim, Am Phan, and a third known only as Klen, were sentenced to between two and five years in jail.
Sokmean admitted his role in the murder, but appealed for a reduced sentence, claiming it was his accomplices who had stabbed Ravuth.
The prosecutor, Im Sophan, also agreed and cast doubts on the police record.
“It seems that the murder was not planned in advance, and looking at the records, they gathered around, consumed drugs and then got into a row. “I ask the council to consider the appeal accordingly,” the prosecutor said at the hearing.
The verdict is due to be handed down on June 15.