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Appeal Court upholds murder-theft verdict

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Appeal Court upholds murder-theft verdict

The Appeal Court has upheld the verdict against a woman who was earlier this month sentenced to 30 years in prison for murder and the theft of cash and jewellery from the owner of a massage parlour in Kandal province’s Ang Snuol district last year.

On Thursday, Presiding Judge Chay Chan Daravann told the courtroom in the presence of the convicted woman – Phen Na, 33 – that the murder was premeditated as she had brought the knife with her to the scene.

Chan Daravann said that after listening to the summary of Na’s defence lawyer and to that of the prosecutor, the trial chamber had deliberated on questions of fact.

He said that prior to stabbing the man to death, she had concealed a knife under her pillow in the guesthouse where the crime was committed.

The judge said the accused had sexual relations with the victim – Nuon Sopheap, 58 – in the guesthouse and then stabbed him 18 times.

“The Phnom Penh Municipal Court sentenced you to 30 years in prison,” Chan Daravann told Na.

“The trial chamber of the Appeal Court finds that the lower court had already allowed for mitigating circumstances. So the Appeal Court cannot reduce your sentence,” he said.

According to the court’s minutes, Sopheap befriended the woman and she tempted him to go with her to the guesthouse.

On January 21 last year, the two made an apportionment to meet at the Samnang Nas guesthouse.

While Sopheap was having sexual intercourse with Na, the court documents said, she removed the knife from under the pillow and stabbed him to death.

She then stole $2,000 in cash and the man’s necklaces and fled the scene.

Provincial police arrested her three days later on January 24, last year.

On the day of her arrest, she argued that the reason she killed the man was that she needed $2,500 to release her husband on bail from Prey Sar prison.

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