Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Woman jailed for 165 years receives legal aid

Woman jailed for 165 years receives legal aid

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A woman was sentenced​ to 165 years in jail over 9 cases of crimes. Supplied

Woman jailed for 165 years receives legal aid

The Cambodian Human Rights Committee (CHRC) on Wednesday said it had provided legal assistance to a woman who was sentenced to 165 years in prison on nine criminal counts after she pleaded for a reduction of her jail terms.

The move followed CHRC’s recent visit to Prey Sar prison.

CHRC spokesperson Chin Malin told The Post on Wednesday that the government’s rights body had provided a lawyer for Pech Sonet, 24, and also found a centre to take care of her three-year-old son.

“The Phnom Penh Municipal Court has already delivered a verdict but she appealed the sentence."

“We found an organisation to help take care of her son while her case proceeded. We need a proper place to provide her son with temporary care and education. Regarding her case, CHRC only offers legal aid on her request,” he said.

Malin said Sonet had not received a final verdict. If her charges are combined, her jail terms would amount to over 100 years. But by law, he said, a lawyer could argue mitigating circumstances so the court could consolidate her sentences before issuing a final verdict.

Chhouk Seiha, the executive director of Child Pedagogy Cambodia, said the NGO accepted her son last week and would offer him care and education.

“The law bars children from staying in jail with their mother to prevent them from witnessing life in prison,” he said.

Seiha said a baby-sitter is looking after Sonet’s son, who has learnt to sing and draw pictures.

A prison officer who asked not to be named said Sonet hailed from Kampong Chhnang province and was disowned by her parents for unspecified reasons.

She then came to find work in Phnom Penh where she met her boyfriend Taing Nimey whom she lived together without getting married until she became pregnant.

In 2015, the couple and two other friends were arrested while having a meal on the Prasith mountain just outside the capital. Police said at the time they had been following the gang for many months for their involvement in over 30 cases of robbery and murder.

Sonet’s boyfriend then resisted arrest and shot at police, prompting them to return fire in self-defence. He was shot dead, while Sonet and her companions were arrested.

While in prison, she was taken to the Japanese-owned Sunrise Hospital in Phnom Penh to deliver her baby, the officer said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Chinese firms unveil preliminary results on metro, monorail for capital

    Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol and representatives from China Road and Bridge Corp (CRBC) and its parent company, the state-owned China Communications Construction Co Ltd (CCCC), met on June 24 for talks on results of the firms’ preliminary study on a potential metro

  • Num banh chok pizza a new fusion hit

    Num banh chok is a traditional fish curry with fermented rice noodles, prahok fish paste, kroeung paste, flowering plants and seasonal vegetables that is arguably a strong contender for “national dish” status in Cambodia and typically served for breakfast or eaten as an afternoon snack.

  • Cambodia detects new Covid cases after 52 days: PM

    After 52 days of zero new Covid-19 cases, Cambodia has now detected new infections, according to Prime Minister Hun Sen. In his special audio address to the nation late on June 28, Hun Sen said the new cases were detected on people who had undergone PCR tests

  • Higher education leaders tour US

    With support from the US Department of State, 10 Cambodian leaders in higher education participated in the 10-day International Visitors Leadership Programme (IVLP) in three US states from June 19 to July 1. They included nine university rectors and directors of higher education institutions who are members of

  • Gold-covered boundary stone found within Angkor Thom’s West Gate

    The Apsara National Authority (ANA) announced that their working group in charge of restoration work at Angkor Thom's Takav Gate or the West Gate recently found an ancient stone slab commonly known as a boundary stone. The boundary stone is 53 cm by 53 cm and 12 cm

  • Angkor ticket sales jump by 1,000 per cent in the first half

    Angkor Archaeological Park netted more than $2.4 million from ticket sales in the first half of 2022, an increase of more than 1,000 per cent year-on-year, Angkor Enterprise reported. According to a July 1 statement issued by Angkor Enterprise, the state-run institution that manages tickets sales for international visitors