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Woman charged over acid attack on spouse

Woman charged over acid attack on spouse

A 38-year-old woman was charged by Kratie provincial court with intentional violence on Saturday after attacking her husband with half a litre of acid in Snuol district the morning before, police said.

District police chief Chan Sokim said Ly Sanak bought acid from a market, then sprayed it from a bottle at her husband, Koam Lea, 44, after he refused to leave a neighbour’s house where he had been drinking with three men and a woman.

He received minor injuries.

“The suspect was angry with her husband for drinking wine and [sitting] close to another woman,” Sokim said. “She called him many times asking him to come home, but he [refused] and kept drinking.”

This led to a verbal altercation at the scene of the crime and Sanak’s subsequent acid purchase, Sokim added.

After buying the acid, Sanak returned to the house and sprayed Lea’s face and part of his body with the liquid.

The other woman also sustained minor injuries, but left the house before police arrived.

“Her husband did not sue or demand she be punished. [By arresting Sanak], we followed the law,” Sokim said.

Chan Sophalla, deputy chief of the provincial office for serious crime, said Lea, who is being treated at Kampong Cham provincial hospital, was spared more serious injury because Sanak had bought diluted acid.

She tried to flee the scene but was arrested soon after and is being detained at Kratie’s provincial prison pending further investigation, Sokim said, adding that a hearing date is yet to be set.

If found guilty of using acid for “intentional violence”, Sanak faces up to five years in prison and a potential 10 million riel ($2,500) fine.

A law to punish perpetrators of acid attacks and regulate the use of the chemical in the Kingdom was passed by the National Assembly in 2011.

Cambodian Acid Survivors Charity (CASC) has recorded a total of 319 acid burn incidents, resulting in 400 victims, in the past 49 years.

Erin Bourgois, a project manager at CASC, said the gender ratio of the victims is nearly 50-50.