Attempted Murder Suspects Call for Hun Sen’s Intervention

Relatives of four suspects on trial for allegedly attempting to murder the wife and daughter of Senior Minister Sun Chanthol in June said yesterday they have sent a letter asking Prime Minister Hun Sen to help them find justice.

The trial of Chan Sokha, 38, Neang Sinat, 25, Yean Sothearith, 25, and Sok Lak, 30, began last month and is set to recommence today.

Khaou Seng Chanda, the wife of wealthy businessman Khaou Chuly, is also being tried after being ac­cused of masterminding the murder attempts on the wife and daughter of Mr Chanthol, the vice chairman of the Council for the Devel­opment of Cambodia. Mr Chan­thol’s wife is Mr Chuly’s daughter.

A police report alleged that Ms Sokha arranged for Mr Chanthol’s maid, Ms Sinat, to allow access to the minister’s Sen Sok district house, and for Mr Lak and Mr So­thearith to carry out the murders early in the morning of June 13.

The murder plot was allegedly aborted after Mr Chanthol’s wife woke up and shut an open door and closed the windows.

Yesterday, relatives of the four accused suspects held a news conference in Phnom Penh, calling on Mr Hun Sen to intervene in the case. Ms Seng Chanda’s family was not in­volved with the news conference, nor the appeal to Mr Hun Sen.

Tuon Narath, 39, Ms Sokha’s brother-in-law, said the families wrote to the premier last Friday, rejecting police claims they had been involved in the attempted murders.

“We appeal to [Mr] Hun Sen to in­tervene, find justice…and release them, because they did not commit this case,” Mr Narath said.

So Than, the mother of Mr So­thearith, broke down during the news conference, saying that her son could not have committed the alleged crime because he was suffering serious injuries from a traffic accident that would have prevented him from climbing the fence surrounding Mr Chanthol’s house.

Other family members rejected the idea that their relatives could commit the crime and claimed that police officials had set them up.

Lim Leang Se, deputy director of the premier’s Cabinet, said yesterday that the families’ letter had not yet been received.

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