The Court of Appeal on Tuesday heard the case of a mother and daughter who were charged with murdering the latter’s husband in the capital’s Teuk Thla commune, in Sen Sok district last year.
The Phnom Penh Municipal Court had earlier convicted and sentenced the women to 11 and 10 years respectively.
Judge In Van Vibol presided over the appeal of Kong Thida, 47, and her daughter Ngov Somary, 20. The victim was Somary’s husband Kim Yort, 29.
According to court records, before the incident on May 24, last year, the victim’s wife had a dispute with her husband over their marriage certificate.
She also asked for 10,000 riel ($2.50) but he wouldn’t give it to her. They fought and Yort strangled his wife. At that point, the mother slashed the victim on the head with a cleaver and knocked him to the floor.
After slashing Yort, both mother and daughter tied Yort’s wrists and feet with electrical wire and tape and carried his body to a bed. They attempted to escape, but later confessed at the Teuk Thla police station and were arrested by police.
The verdict handed down by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court was released on December 23 the same year. Thida was sentenced to 11 years in prison. Her daughter received 10 years.
Both were charged with murder under Article 199 of the Criminal Code and ordered to pay 200 million riel to the victim’s family.
Somary said at the hearing that the killing was not related to the marriage registration, but the main reason was that she could not get the 10,000 riel from Yort.
“After [my mother] slashed him he said softly that he would kill us because he used to kill people in Vietnam. After I heard this, I was afraid that he would kill me so I stabbed him two more times in the chest,” Somary said.
Separately, Thida told the judge she slashed the victim because he was strangling her daughter. If she didn’t kill the victim, she told the judge, he would have killed both of them.
“Both of us pleaded guilty and asked the court to reduce the sentences for us,” they said.
Prosecutor Tan Senarong said he was sorry the sentences handed down by the lower court were not longer as they had killed someone.
“This murder is very brutal so I will appeal against the verdict because both women deserve life sentences,” he told the judge.
The lawyer for the victim’s family, who did not want to be named, said the parents of the victim are now staying in Kampuchea Krom, and that they are giving him the right to defend the case.
“I have nothing to say but ask the court to uphold the verdict of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court,” he said.
Separately, Mam Sidana, a defence lawyer for the two women, said his clients had confessed and asked the judge to reduce the sentence.
“As the defence lawyer for the convicted, I ask the court to reduce their sentences,” he said.
Judge Vann Vibol said the verdict would be announced on June 15.