Acid Attack Victim Dies; Court Official Seeks Murder Charge

A woman who suffered severe burns to her face and body in an acid attack at the hands of a jealous wife died of her injuries at Phnom Penh’s Calmette Hospital on Saturday, according to her father.

Meas Vanny, 20, a security guard at the Ho Hsin Tai shoe factory in Pur Senchey district, was doused with acid by Sroeun Nann, a garment worker, shortly after leaving her apartment on the morning of March 6. Ms. Nann, 38, was arrested the same day and confessed to attacking Meas Vanny after learning that she and Ms. Nann’s husband were having an affair.

Meas Vanny’s father, Sin Sinoeun, said his daughter died of her injuries on Saturday and was cremated near her home in Pursat province on Sunday.

“My daughter died at 2 p.m. yesterday afternoon at Calmette Hospital,” he said. “We are very sad because we lost a member of our family.

“My daughter was good-natured,” he said. “Why was she attacked like this?”

Mr. Sinoeun said he wanted the court to hand Ms. Nann a heavy prison sentence and order her to pay the family 100 million riel, or about $25,000, in compensation.

“I demand that the suspect live in jail because she committed a serious crime against my daughter,” he said.

Phnom Penh Municipal Court deputy prosecutor Um Sopheak, who is handling the case, said he would ask the court to alter the charge against Ms. Nann once he received official confirmation of Meas Vanny’s death.

“We will change the charge of attempted murder to premeditated murder,” he said. “She will face life in prison if found guilty.”

The deputy prosecutor said he also hoped to see police find the people who provided Ms. Nann with the acid and bring charges against them.

Pur Senchey district penal police chief Chea Sovann said authorities were searching for the suppliers.

“Ms. Nann confessed that she asked a motorcycle-taxi driver to buy her a bottle of acid for 12,000 riel [about $3],” Mr. Sovann said.

“So that man must be involved in this case because he bought the strong acid that authorities have banned so she could commit the crime,” he said. “And once we find the motor taxi driver, then we will find the shop owner [who sold the acid].”

The government passed a law on acid attacks in 2012 amid a spate of such crimes, and followed up with a sub-decree regulating the sale of acid the following year.

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