Band of Pursat Killers Given Life Sentences

Eight young men who killed a Pursat karaoke parlor owner and most of her family in June were given life sentences earlier this week in Pursat provincial court, officials said.

Several hundred people crowded into court Wednesday as the verdict was delivered in one of the more brutal murder cases of the year, court officials said.

“Convicting these killers made the people happy because now these cruel Big Brothers are in prison,” said Prosecutor Kong Bin. Pursat Judicial Police Chief Phan Siphal called the ruling a “warning” to other criminals.

On June 15 the robbers stayed late drinking at Im Sinuon’s karaoke parlor. Around 10:30 pm, police say they turned up the volume on the stereo to mask the noise of them attacking the family, whom they believed had received $5,000 from the US.

In Sinuon and three members of her family were stabbed to death, while a nephew, Keo Kver, survived by playing dead and being beaten and slashed three times with a knife.

The killer made off with a necklace and $300, police said.

Keo Kver was able to identify the attackers, seven of who were eventually arrested. Now in prison are: Kong Kim, 22, Chhum Veasna, 19, Khim Ousaphea, 19, Nuon Chamoeun, 19, Chhun Lida, 18, Khon Munly, 17, and Vuth Puth, 20. Ith Sopheap, 23, who was convicted in absentia, is thought by police to have fled to Thailand.

Police say the brutal way the family was killed led them to believe the murderers were drug addicts. “They showed no human pity,” a police officer said.

Authorities across the country warn that drug use, particularly among Cambodia’s youth, is increasing, and with it comes more crime.


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