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Wife murder trial sent back to Appeal Court

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Song Touch, 48, a former RCAF leader, killed his wife in Phnom Penh in November 2015 and burned her body in a water tank. Photo: Kim Sarom

Wife murder trial sent back to Appeal Court

The Supreme Court on Wednesday sent a murder case involving a military officer back to the Appeal Court to be heard again.

Song Touch, 48, a former RCAF leader, killed his wife in Phnom Penh in November 2015 and burned her body in a water tank.

The case was heard at the High Court where Touch’s defence argued that the murder wasn’t premeditated.

Announcing its verdict, the Supreme Court ordered the Appeal Court to hear the case again, saying its initial decision was incorrect.

Touch was initially sentenced to life in prison in the lower court for the murder. The sentence was reduced by the Appeal Court to 30 years.

“The Supreme Court turns [it] to the Appeal Court to retry the case,” judge Kim Sathavy said on Wednesday.

During the August 29 proceedings at the high court, Touch claimed he was furious with his wife, Tim Sophea, 34, after she didn’t answer his phone calls.

Upon Sophea returning home late, Touch said an argument broke out when Sophea said she didn’t answer the phone as she was busy with her lover.

He claims to have grabbed an axe and hit her in the back of the head. After stashing her body in a water container he doused it with gasoline and burned it.

Touch claims he appealed the initial verdict because the murder wasn’t premeditated.

“I appeared at the Supreme Court because I am not satisfied with the charge of premeditated murder. If it was premeditated murder, I would not do it at my own home. After killing her, I told her sister I killed her unintentionally,” he said.

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