Grenade Girlfriend Co-Defendants Testify to Plot

The lawyer for a woman accused of orchestrating a grenade attack on her former boyfriend rebutted the charges during the second day of her trial on Friday, saying the prosecutor had presented no evidence to support the charge, despite incriminating testimony from her co-defendants.

Sok Kimly, 38, charged with initiating premeditated murder, is accused of arranging the failed attempt to kill her then boyfriend in Phnom Penh’s busy Chamkar Mon district last September. Four alleged accomplices also were charged in the plot, in which three people were injured.

“If my client, Sok Kimly, ordered the murder, where is the evidence, such as a contract offering the money, a voice recording or photos?” asked her lawyer, Suy Sokhon.

At trial, however, Sak Mab, 36, testified that he had been hired to carry out the hit. “I saw at the time the area was quiet, then i just threw the grenade,” he said. Presiding Judge Ly Sokleng then asked, “Did you talk to Sok Kimly about receiving the money?”

He replied, “I haven’t discussed the amount of money with her.”  The judge also questioned three of Ms. Kimly’s employees, whom authorities linked to an alleged previous plan by Ms. Kimly to kill Ea Lyhour, who owned a motorbike accessory store just meters from the grenade blast site.

Ni Soi Binh, 36, who was charged with attempted murder, previously told the court in June that he had been promised $10,000 and was handed a gun, but claimed he buried the weapon. The testimony came in a separate case, in which he, Ms. Kimly and others were charged with arranging Mr. Lyhour’s fatal shooting.

“Sok Kimly order me to find and shoot boyfriend,” Mr. Soi Bin told the court on Friday.

Another employee, Le Dang Dong, 47, who was accused of arranging for Mr. Soi Bin to kill Mr. Lyhour, told the court, “We failed to kill the man because Ni Soi Binh was afraid.”

Deputy prosecutor Soeur Vanny said the evidence support the case. “After listening to the answers from the defendants, Ms. Sok Kimly is the mastermind to hire people for the attempt to kill her boyfriend,” she said.

According to police, Ms. Kimly had previously said she ordered the hit because Mr. Lyhour owed her $50,000 and had an affair with another woman. On the first day of her trial on Thursday,  however, she retracted the confession and denied that she had hired anyone to kill Mr. Lyhour.

Her co-defendants, Mr. Mab and Bun Pheakdey, 32, were accused of being hired to carry out the hit. Nou Samban, 33, a motorbike taxi driver who allegedly introduced Mr. Pheakdey to Mr. Mab, and 25-year-old Bou Sopheap, Mr. Pheakdey’s mistress, were charged as accomplices in premeditated murder.

The verdict is expected on September 4.

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