The Supreme Court upheld a Court of Appeal ruling on July 20 that lowered a murder sentence from life to 30 years.
The ruling was upheld despite a plea by the victim’s relative to keep the original life sentence handed down by the Kandal Provincial Court.
Tem Sary, a former bodyguard who confessed to shooting a man 15 times at a birthday party in 2016, requested the Supreme Court to lower his punishment to under 30 years so he could earn a living to support his old mother.
The victim, Srey Chanvuthy’s relative requested the court to uphold the original trial court decision but did not make a formal statement to the judges considering the case.
To Sary’s request, Judge Khem Bun said the Supreme Court could not lower the punishment further as the Appeal Court had already reduced the prison sentence. “The decision is accurate according to the law.
“The Supreme Court also cannot increase the punishment [as per the relative’s request]. The suspect still has to compensate the family 120 million riel [$29,281],” said Judge Khem Bun.
Court files show that Chanvuthy and Sary were drinking beer to celebrate the birthday of the Chanvuthy’s grandchild. They had a verbal argument and Sary shot Chanvuthy 15 times.
Kandal provincial court sentenced Sary to life imprisonment in 2016 under Article 200 of the Criminal Code although he had fled.
Ang Snuol district police arrested Sary in 2018, and he was sent to prison. He appealed the life sentence and it was lowered to 30 years.