Vil­lage chief charged with mur­der­ing ‘lover’

The Phnom Penh Post - - FRONT PAGE - Kim Sarom

THE Kam­pong Chh­nang Pro­vin­cial Court on Mon­day placed a vil­lage chief in pre-trial de­ten­tion for killing a woman with whom he had al­legedly had a ro­man­tic re­la­tion­ship. The in­ci­dent hap­pened on June 21 in Sa­maki Meanchey dis­trict’s Peam com­mune.

Pro­vin­cial Mil­i­tary Po­lice deputy com­man­der Hang Socheat told The Post on

Mon­day that Kraing Kantreal vil­lage chief Nheb Sokhom, 67, was charged with killing 56-year-old Chea Thorn.

“In­ves­ti­gat­ing Judge Y Thavrak charged him for mur­der un­der Ar­ti­cle 199 of the Crim­i­nal Code,” he said.

Sok hom faces up to 15 yea rs in prison if found guilt y.

Socheat sa id a n i nvest igat ion found t hat Thorn had a husba nd and k ids, but she had been see­ing t he v il­lage chief ro­man­ti­cally since 2015. Thorn’s hus­band is t he v il­lage chief ’s brot her-in-law, he said.

Be­fore the in­ci­dent, there was an en­gage­ment cer­e­mony in the vil­lage. Af­ter drink­ing some beers at the morn­ing cer­e­mony, the woman tele­phoned Sokhom and told him to meet her at a rice field around 6km from her home.

Dur­ing ques­tion­ing, the vil­lage chief ad­mit­ted that he and Thorn en­gaged in sex­ual in­ter­course when they met at around 12pm.

But dur­ing the act, the woman sud­denly had a se­vere seizure. Sokhom then dressed her and tried to wake her.

Un­cer­tain if the woman had fainted or died af­ter check­ing her breath­ing, he took Thorn to a nearby cot­tage and covered her with rice husks, ply­wood, and palm leaves. He then set her on fire and es­caped on a mo­tor­bike, Socheat said.

Vil­lagers said t hey saw Thorn rid­ing her mo­tor­bike to t he rice f ield, but the au­thor­i­ties were not aware of t he in­ci­dent un­til 7:15pm.

Af­ter re­ceiv­ing a re­port of the body’s dis­cov­ery, Socheat and his forces ar­rived at the scene at 7:35pm and found Thorn’s body in the burnt cot­tage.

Prov i ncia l cou r t spokesper­son Ch­huon Siv in could not be reached for com­ment on Mon­day.




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