The Appeal Court on Monday reviewed the case of a man sentenced to life in prison for killing a nine-year-old boy in Koh Kong province’s Kiri Sakor district in 2009.
Presiding Judge Yun Narong related the details of the case in front of the convict, Sok Phan, 51, on Monday.
He said Phan was involved in a rosewood trafficking business and fell into conflict with the victim’s father, known as Koy Det, after he reported Phan’s crime to the police.
On the afternoon of December 18, 2009, Narong said, Phan became drunk and went out wielding a large knife to look for the victim’s father.
He walked to the primary school in Koh Sdech commune’s Prek Smach village where the victim, nine-year-old Yoeun Pov Ratanak, was playing with his classmates.
The judge said Phan grabbed Pov Ratanak by the shirt and asked him where his father was, but the boy said he did not know.
Phan then pushed Pov Ratanak to the ground and stabbed him with the machete in the throat and stomach. The boy died on the spot and Phan fled the scene.
The judge said Phan was arrested in Ratanakkiri province on November 28 last year, and was returned to Koh Kong provincial police.
On December 27, 2018, the Koh Kong provincial court sentenced Phan to life in prison for premeditated murder based on Article 200 of the Criminal Code.
Phan admitted to the judge on Monday that he had attacked the victim, saying he was upset with the boy’s father because he had twice reported Phan to the police over his rosewood trafficking business.
“I was really angry with the boy’s father. At the same time, I was drunk and couldn’t control myself, so I whacked the victim. I knew that I’d made a mistake. I ask the court to reduce my sentence,” he said.
Prosecutor Chum Sen Sothea said Phan had confessed to the crime and knew he had done wrong.
However, the murder was premeditated, he said, because he was carrying the machete with the intention of killing the boy’s father.
“Therefore, the Koh Kong provincial court’s decision to sentence him to life imprisonment was lawful. I ask the court to uphold the [provincial] court’s verdict,” he said.
Defence lawyer Nou Chantha said his client had already confessed to the court but had filed a complaint at the Appeal Court because he wanted it to reduce his sentence.
Presiding Judge Narong said the court would announce its verdict on July 26.