Phnom Penh Municipal Court judge Sin Visal announced today that he would deliver a verdict on February 15 in a case brought against the wife of a prominent businessman and four accomplices accused of attempted murder.
“The court would like to publicly announce that the hearings of Seng Chenda and four accomplices have ended and we will announce their verdicts publicly on February 15,” Sin Visal said.
Seng Chenda, 48, wife of tycoon Khaou Chuly, 82, and four accomplices have been charged with the attempted murder of Sun Sotha, Khaou Chuly’s daughter from a previous wife.
Sun Sotha is married to Sun Chanthol, vice chairman of the Council for the Development of Cambodia and a former minister of public works.
All five accused have pleaded not guilty.
Sun Sotha’s lawyer Pal Chandara said today that confessions obtained by police proved that the four accused received orders from Seng Chenda to murder Sun Chanthol’s family.
“I have strong evidence to accuse these five suspected people for attempted murder on Madam Sun Sotha and her 9-year-old daughter,” he said.
Seng Chenda today denied the accusations in court.
“I would like to swear and say in front of this court hearing that I have no plot or reason to murder Sun Sotha and her daughter,” she said.
“I think that this charge was just a false accusation which was prepared and made by Sun Chanthol against me.”
One of the accused, Chan Sokha, 38, claimed that she was forced by Sun Chanthol and police to accuse Seng Chenda.
“I have not committed this attempted murder,” she said.
“The reason I confessed that Seng Chenda was behind this attempted murder is because I was forced by Sun Chanthol and the police during my interrogation.”
Sun Sotha’s brother, Khaou Phallaboth, said he did not believe Seng Chenda plotted to murder Sun Chanthol’s family.
“I think that this was a false accusation made by Sun Chanthol against [Seng Chenda], who does not get along with his wife and people in Khaou Chuly’s family,” he said.
Khaou Chuly today stood by his wife.
“I think that this problem is related to my property management and the envy between my children and young wife,” he said.
“I would like to guarantee that Seng Chenda has not committed this attempted murder as charged, and I would like to ask the court to release her.”
Seng Chenda’s lawyer Mik Saphana said that the court did not have enough evidence to convict his client.
“I would like to ask the court to release Seng Chenda and drop all charges against her because she is the victim of this conflict,” he said.
Seng Chenda and her four alleged accomplices were charged under Article 3 of the Law on Aggravating Circumstances for Felonies, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.
Neither Sun Chanthol nor Sun Sotha could be reached for comment today.