Hun Sen’s Nephew To Be Tried This Week

A nephew of Prime Minister Hun Sen will stand trial this week for three deaths after a car crash and subsequent shooting in Octo­ber, his lawyer said Sunday.

Nhim Sophea, 22, is charged with traffic violations and premeditated killings in connection to the shooting spree Oct 27 that left three dead and four seriously in­jured near Olympic Stadium.

Police have said he and a group of friends were traveling from a party in a convoy of four vehicles when one of the cars smashed in­to a parked truck. One man from the group then opened fire with an AK-47 on a crowd of onlookers.

An 18-year-old woman and a 40-year-old man were shot and killed, and a 19-year-old coconut vendor was killed in the wreck, police said.

Nhim Sophea was denied bail last month and has been in detention at Prey Sar prison since his arrest in late November.

His lawyer, Dy Borima, said Nhim Sophea’s case will go to court on Thursday. He added that his client is innocent and that his health was weakening in jail.

“I am concerned about his health because he has caught a cold,” Dy Borima said.

Municipal Court prosecutor Ouk Savouth said he was un­aware of any upcoming court date for Nhim Sophea. Investigat­ing Judge Hing Thirith could not be reached.

Nhim Sophea is the son of Hun Sen’s sister, Hun Sinath, and Nhim Chantara, an undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a former ambassador to Burma.

A second nephew of Hun Sen, Nhim Chantana, was also apprehended after the shootings and la­ter released. Nephews of Hun Sen have been arrested in connection to several violent incidents in the past, but none have been convicted or served a prolonged sentence.



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