PHNOM Penh Municipal Court yesterday convicted a Thai man of killing his girlfriend last year at a guesthouse in Daun Penh district, sentencing him to 11 years in jail and ordering him to pay 30 million riels (US$7,109) in compensation to the victim’s family.
Sarisi Boon Sry, 37, was arrested on October 12 from a construction site after being accused of strangling a Cambodian woman, 22-year-old Voeun Srey Mao, a day earlier at the Ly Hour Guesthouse. According to a police note, the victim’s father, Ho Voeu, requested that the accused be prosecuted and asked for $25,000 in compensation.
Deputy prosecutor Koeur Bunnara said yesterday that the verdict was acceptable.
“The sentence of 11 years for the Thai man really gives justice to the victim,” he said.
But after the verdict was handed down, defence lawyer Touch Chhay described the sentence as “an injustice” for his client.
“There was a lack of evidence, and it was only based on a doctoral examination of the killing,” he said.
“I raised this in the last hearing. If the victim was killed by strangling, there must have been fighting and other rooms in the guesthouse must have heard the struggle.”
During a hearing on July 19, Sarisi Boon Sry denied killing Voeun Srey Mao, but he did admit to having sex with her.
“I walked her to rent a room at the guesthouse around 8pm on October 10, and I had sex with her just once until I left the guesthouse at 6am,” he said during the earlier hearing.
But according to a medical report prepared for the court by referral doctor Iv Kiri in April and read aloud during the July hearing, the victim was killed between the hours of 2am and 3am on October 11.
Koeur Bunnara said at the time that the exam report was enough to prove Sarisi Boon Sry’s guilt.
“You and the victim were together, and it has been proved by the Phnom Penh’s Municipal Court’s referral examination that the victim was killed before you left the guesthouse,” he said.
Touch Chhay said that the court had given him 30 days in which to lodge an appeal, and that he would discuss with his client whether or not to do so. Sarisi Boon Sry faced a maximum of 15 years in prison under the Law on Aggravating Circumstances for Felonies.