The trial of a nephew of Prime Minister Hun Sen on charges of premeditated killing, relating to a car crash and the shooting of several bystanders, has been rescheduled for Wednesday, court officials said Sunday.
Nhim Sophea’s trial proceeded for 10 minutes on Friday, but was stopped because the defendant felt dizzy and two important witnesses were absent, said presiding Judge Tan Senarong.
“He looked frightened and did not feel very well,” the judge said of Nhim Sophea.
Richard Ngoun, the lawyer representing the dead and injured, accused the court of prolonging the trial until the case is forgotten.
“The important thing is that Hun Sen must strengthen and enforce the laws to suppress the goons,” Ngoun said, adding that he did not believe the court could bring justice to the victims because it is under Hun Sen’s influence.
Dy Borima, the attorney for Nhim Sophea, could not be reached for comment Sunday.
But Deutsche Presse Agentur reported that Dy Borima said the missing witnesses would prove Nhim Sophea’s innocence. He also said his client felt dizzy and fainted into a crowd due to an ulcer and liver problems, DPA reported.
Nhim Sophea was arrested in November after police identified him and several friends as the group involved in the deaths of three people and the injuries to four others in the Oct 27 crash and shooting.
The group was traveling in a convoy of four vehicles after leaving the home of a high-ranking official when one of the cars crashed into a parked truck, killing a 19-year-old man and leaving his brother with serious head injuries, police said.
When onlookers gathered at the scene as the group pulled the driver from his car and removed its registration plates, police allege that Nhim Sophea shot into the crowd, killing an 18-year-old woman and a 40-year-old man.
Nhim Sophea is the son of Hun Sen’s sister, Hun Sinath, who is married to Nhim Chantara, an undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a former ambassador to Burma.