The Supreme Court on Monday heard the appeal of a 29-year-old man who asked for a reduction of his 10-year prison sentence for the murder of a Vietnamese national who was thrown off a bridge in Svay Rieng town in 2016.
At the hearing on Monday, Suos Chanra told the court that he did not kill Vietnamese national Le Van Trung but was forced by his friend – named To – to help throw him off the bridge.
He said did not know Trung, but his friend had had a disagreement with him.
“After I knew of the death of the victim, I was very upset. On the day of the incident, I did not intentionally kill the man, but my friend threatened to kill me if I did not do as he said. I ask the Supreme Court to reduce my punishment,” Chanra said.
Chanra and To were driving from a casino in a Toyota Camry on November 3, 2016, when To saw the victim, Chanra told the Supreme Court. To pushed the 33-year-old Vietnamese into the car.
To stopped the car as it drove on a bridge across a river. He dragged Trung out of the vehicle and started beating him.
To tried to push Trung off the bridge into the river, but he held onto the railing. To called on Chanra for help and he got out of the car. To grabbed the victim’s arms while Chanra took his legs as the victim was thrown off the bridge. The two men then drove off.
After Trung’s body was found floating in the river, a police investigation led to the arrest of the two men on November 7, 2016.
Svay Rieng provincial court found the two men guilty of murder under Article 199 of the Criminal Code on September 20, 2017, and sentenced them each to 10 years in prison.
The two men filed cases with the Appeal Court, which upheld the original ruling on July 12 last year.
Supreme Court Prosecutor Chan Dara Raksmey said the lower court’s verdict was accurate and complied with legal procedure.
“The appellant has asked the court to reduce his sentence. He needs to compare a person’s life and his punishment of 10 years in prison."
If we exchange [10 years in prison] for the life of a person, it is not equal, so I would like the Supreme Court to uphold the Appeal Court’s ruling,”he said.
Defence lawyer Ok Oudom told The Post that his client did not have the intention to kill the victim and had not taken part in assaulting him. He had only helped To throw him off the bridge.
“My client confessed and cooperated with police at every stage to find and detain the offender in this case, so I would like to ask the court to reduce his sentence because he has a wife and a small child to look after,” Oudom said.
Presiding Judge Khim Ponn said the Appeal Court will announce its decision on Monday.