The Stung Treng Provincial Court has placed three of 12 suspects in pre-trial detention on charges of theft and aggravated intentional violence against two pregnant women.

Stung Treng Provincial Court spokesman Kim Hongsan identified the three as Tun Savon, 42; Soeurn Forng, 39; and Leur Rachana, 37. They are brothers-in-law residing in Svay Rieng village of Sesan district’s Talat commune.

Their attack caused the death of an unborn infant of one of the two women — one at six-months into her pregnancy and the other at three-months.

He added that the three were arrested on May 3 by the provincial police's criminal bureau after one of the women claimed that her infant had been killed because of the assault and this was confirmed by doctors.

“On the afternoon of May 5, the prosecutor and investigating judge found that they had also stolen the pesticide spray tanks of the women before they beat them,” he said.

Under Article 356 of the Criminal Code, theft is an offence punishable by a prison sentence of between six months and three years and a fine of up to six million riel ($1,250).

Under Article 219 of the Criminal Code, aggravated intentional violence carries a jail term of between two and five years and a fine of between four and 10 million riel.

However, the husband of one of the women told The Post that during the violence there were 12 thieves including the Talat commune chief named Soeurn Khorn. At this time, the commune chief and several other members of his family members have not yet been detained by the police, he said.

“He is the commune chief. He did not stop or prevent his sons and daughters from causing the violence against my wife and pregnant older sister-in-law. He even kicked my wife and older sister-in-law until her three month old unborn child died.

“My family and the family of my older sister-in-law demanded $60,000 compensation in total and asked that the court punish them in accordance with legal procedures,” he said.

He added that the violence had been caused by the three men because they had stolen the tanks from the cashew nut plantation of his father-in-law on April 22 when a wildfire occurred near the plantation.

When the neighbours reported the case to the father, his wife complained to the commune chief and village security guards to get the tanks back and then the family members of the commune chief had beaten her.