A 21-year-old university student was charged on Saturday with the murder of a Defense Ministry official stabbed to death in broad daylight in front of several witnesses last week.
Ly Davy, 36, a major in the ministry’s military service department, was walking alone near the Depot Market in Tuol Kok district on Tuesday morning when a helmeted man stabbed her repeatedly in the chest with a kitchen knife and drove off on a motorbike.
Mey Kimheng, a freshman at the Royal University of Phnom Penh and a next-door neighbor of the victim, was arrested the following night and confessed to the attack, claiming to have taken revenge for years of being spat at, according to police.
“He was charged with premeditated murder and sent to prison yesterday,” Phnom Penh Municipal Court spokesman Ly Sophanna said on Sunday.
On Thursday, Eng Sorphea, head of the municipal police force’s serious crimes bureau, said Mr. Kimheng told authorities he decided to kill Ly Davy because she had been spitting in his direction for more than two years. He said authorities did not ask the young man if he knew why she would have done such a thing.
On Sunday, Ly Davy’s aunt, Ly Silen, said that, according to her niece, it was Mr. Kimheng who had often spat at her.
“I don’t know the reason, but my niece used to tell me that the police officer’s son was very rude. Whenever she got home he would spit, so she advised him, ‘It’s not proper to spit like this, so why don’t you spit in front of your own home?’” she said.
“When she told him to stop, the boy continued to do the same thing, so she stopped talking to the boy.”
On Thursday, Ms. Silen said she was unaware of any friction between her niece and Mr. Kimheng and that relations between the families were cordial.
Relatives of Mr. Kimheng last week described the young man as well-mannered and said they did not believe he had committed the murder.
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