Alleged Murder Plot Target Turns To News Media

A lawyer for senior minister Sun Chantol’s wife Sun Sotha, who authorities believe was marked for death by the wife of a wealthy businessman, printed a statement in Khmer-language newspapers on Saturday, accusing the news media of insinuating that Ms Sotha was herself guilty of wrongdoing.

A judge also said yesterday that the wife of Khaou Chuly, Khaou Seng Chanda, who authorities say allegedly plotted the murder of Ms Sotha, had been denied bail following her arrest on July 8.

Ms Sotha and her daughter were allegedly the targets of a June 13 murder plot conceived by Ms Seng Chanda, the wife of Khaou Chuly. A statement by Pal Chantara, Ms Sotha’s lawyer, appeared in the Saturday editions of the newspapers Koh Santepheap Daily and Rasmei Kampuchea Daily.

“Some local newspaper have insinuated that [Excellency] Sun Sotha is to blame when she is the victim,” he said in the statements. “Even a small amount of this type of interpretation will drive national and international opinion and unfairly confuse our court system.”

Kar Savuth, an attorney representing the suspect, Ms Seng Chanda, said yesterday that bias was not an issue.

“The court is not biased,” he asked. “If the court was biased, then why is my client still in pretrial detention?”

Mr Savuth said he was seeking to get his client, who was arrested on July 8, released on bail because she suffers from high blood pressure and heart disease but his efforts have not been successful yet.

“I am filing a request to get her released on bail,” he said. “If the court does not allow her to be released on bail, I will go to the appeals court.

Judge Te Sam Ang said yesterday that Ms Seng Chanda’s bail request had been denied.

“The suspect is now detained in Prey Sar prison. I don’t know when the next trial will happen,” he said. “It’s impossible to release her on bail.”

But Mr Sam Ang declined to say why it was impossible for Ms Seng Chanda to be released.


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