Man Admits He Killed Girlfriend, Disputes Motives

A 26-year-old man on trial for premeditated murder at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Sunday admitted to strangling his girlfriend with electric wire and dumping her body in a trash pile.

Yen Panha said he killed 19-year-old Keo Kanha in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district in November because she had asked to leave a friend’s house they were visiting.

“I used a lot of drugs,” he said. “At the time, she asked to go back home. I got very angry and then killed her.” Mr. Panha, who has also been charged for drug use, backtracked on his previous police statements that he had plotted to kill his girlfriend after finding out she was cheating on him.

He said police did not read aloud the testimony before forcing him to sign it. His lawyer, Mon Vimean Champa, asked the court to downgrade the charge to murder as a result.

A pawnshop owner, 31-year-old Hy Sopheak—who did not appear in court—was also charged with receiving stolen goods after Mr. Panha pawned his girlfriend’s motorbike ahead of his arrest.

A verdict is expected to be announced on September 8

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