Businessman’s Wife Questioned in Plot To Murder Minister’s Family

Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Tuesday questioned and released the second wife of a wealthy businessman in the murder plot investigation of a senior minister’s family, a court official said.

Judge Te Sam Ang said the court summoned Khaou Seng Chanda, the wife of businessman Khaou Chuly, for questioning in an alleged June 13 plot to rape and murder the wife and daughter of Senior Minster Sun Chanthol, vice chairman of the Council for the Development of Cambodia.

The court charged four people in the plot on June 23. According to a police report on the case, 37-year-old Chan Sokha, who is one of the charged persons, claimed that she was ordered to organize the crime by Ms Seng Chanda. According to their lawyer, Dun Vibol, the four have since recanted their admissions and claimed innocence.

“On Tuesday after questioning [Ms Seng Chanda] already, the court decided to allow her to return home,” said Judge Sam Ang, who is investigating the case, declining to comment further.

According to Mr Vibol, who said he saw the judge’s report on the questioning, Ms Seng Chanda was charged with ordering the attack on Monday. He said she denied any knowledge of the allegations during questioning.

“She requested the court to find justice for her,” Mr Vibol said.

Ms Seng Chanda could not be reached for comment and her husband, Mr Chuly, declined to comment. Deputy prosecutor Ek Chheng Huot also declined to comment.

Mr Vibol said the court also questioned one of his other clients, 30-year-old Sok Lak, on Tuesday. He said Mr Lak maintained his innocence and claimed that police had coerced him into initially confessing his guilt.

“The police forced him to confess,” Mr Vibol said.

The others charged in the case are Neang Sinat, 25, and Yean Sothearith, 25.

Sun Chanthol could not be reached. Lim Vanna and Kar Savuth lawyers for Ms Seng Chanda, declined to comment.


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