Robbers Get 20 Years for Killing Moto-Taxi Driver

Two men and a woman were each sentenced on Thursday to 20 years in prison for their involvement in the death of a motorbike-taxi driver who was attacked with an ax during a robbery in Phnom Penh in October last year.

Loeung Chhangly, 52, who was found dead in an empty field in Chroy Changva district’s Tasek commune, had been struck in the back of the head with the ax, Phnom Penh Municipal Court Presiding Judge Chuon Sokreasey said during a hearing last month.

Ny Nith, 30, Van Dareth, 30, and Chhoeun Ravy, 21, were arrested in December last year, after which Mr. Nith admitted to plotting the ambush to steal the driver’s Honda Dream motorbike, the judge said.

However, all three denied the charges and Mr. Nith retracted his confession during last month’s hearing, claiming that police had beat him. Judge Sokreasey sentenced the defendants on charges of theft with aggravating circumstances, said Suos Vithyearandy, a court spokesman.

The three were also ordered to pay a total of 40 million riel, or about $10,000, in compensation to the victim’s sister, Mr. Vithyearandy said.

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