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Top court hears ex-officer’s plea over 2015 murder

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Sary (centre) was on the run from police for almost three years before Ang Snuol district police arrested him on April 1, 2018. POLICE

Top court hears ex-officer’s plea over 2015 murder

The Supreme Court on Monday heard the appeal of Toem Sary, a former police officer convicted of murder over five years ago who asked the court to reduce his 30-year prison sentence.

Sary was previously sentenced to life in prison by the Kandal Provincial Court before the Phnom Penh Appeal Court reduced his sentence to 30 years.

At the courtroom on Monday, the 35-year-old Sary told the judge he confessed to killing Srey Chanvuthy at his provincial court hearing. He acknowledged that the appeal court had already reduced his life sentence to 30 years.

“I filed an appeal with the Supreme Court because I don’t want to be jailed for up to 30 years. So, I ask the court to reduce my sentence at my request,” he said.

Deputy prosecutor Chhoun Chantha said the provincial court sentenced him to life in prison under Article 200 of the Criminal Code.

An appeal court judge then reduced the sentence and amended his crime from premeditated murder to murder accompanied by torture, cruelty or rape under Article 205 of the Criminal Code.

Sary’s lawyer, Sin Sivorn, told the judge that at the time of the murder, Sary was very drunk.

While he was drinking beer, Chanvuthy had a verbal dispute with him.

Being a police officer who carries a gun, Sary could not control himself and shot and killed Chanvuthy.

“A drunken man relied on his power because he is a bodyguard with a gun. He had a bad temper and didn’t think [before he acted]. However, I would like the court to reduce my client’s sentence,” Sivorn said.

Presiding Judge Khem Pon said a verdict will be announced on July 27.

Sary was on the run from police for almost three years before Ang Snuol district police from Kandal province arrested him on April 1, 2018, in Takeo province.

He committed the murder on July 4, 2015, in Ang Snuol district’s Lomhach commune. The Kandal Provincial Court sentenced him to life in prison in absentia before his arrest.

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