Three men on trial for the gang rape and murder of a 26-year-old karaoke parlor worker last year retracted prior confessions during their hearing at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Monday.
Nang Navy, 19, had confessed to killing Vong Kunthea in June after he paid $10 to have sex with her and then passed her over to six other men who raped her one by one.
But Mr. Navy told the court on Monday that fellow suspect Prey Sok Luck, 51, had coerced him into taking the blame for Mr. Sok Luck’s crime.
“I faked my confession to the court, saying that I raped and killed the karaoke girl, because Prey Sok Luck forced me to confess,” he said.
When Presiding Judge Keo Mony asked Mr. Navy why he had not informed police of this when he was first questioned, Mr. Navy said he had also felt pressured to say he was at fault “because the police used violence to question me.”
Another suspect, Lem Luch, 20, told the court that he too had been manipulated into confessing by Mr. Sok Luck.
However, Mr. Sok Luck not only denied the allegations, but also retracted his own prior confession.
“I was asleep in my bed until that morning when I saw the body and…reported [it] to police,” Mr. Sok Luck said.
Four more defendants are still due to face questioning in the trial, although Judge Mony did not name a date for the next hearing.