Kampot Man Charged in Brutal Murder

Kampot provincial court charged 23-year-old Kompong Trach district villager Ung Min on Sunday with the murder of Leng Thai, whose bloody body was discovered on Thursday in Russei Srok Khang Lech commune, court officials said yesterday.

According to police officials, Mr Min was arrested Friday in Koh Kong province, where he fled after attempting to rape Ms Thai on Wednesday night or Thursday morning then bludgeoning her to death and dragging her body into a rice paddy roughly 100 meters from her house.

“Ung Min has been charged with premeditated murder,” said Kampot chief prosecutor Chum Somban yesterday. “He has been detained in provincial prison.”

Mr Somban declined to give additional details on the case, saying the information was confidential.

Deputy provincial police chief In Chiva said Ms Thai’s mother told police that Mr Min, who also lived in the same commune as the victim, had tried to molest her daughter on several previous occasions.

“We are not sure yet whether he tried to rape her,” Mr Chiva said. “We performed an autopsy, but it did not show any evidence of rape. It is possible he tried and she yelled.”

Mr Chiva added that though Mr Min had not confessed to the murder, he disappeared from his village shortly after the crime took place.

“The period in which Min left the village is parallel to the killing,” said Mr Chiva, adding that Mr Min’s had bruises and scratches all over his body when he was taken into custody and that police were still investigating and collecting evidence.

So far this year, human rights group Adhoc has tallied 26 rape-murder cases, but in a report released last month, the Interior Ministry claimed that only three of the cases had been recorded in the first six months of this year.

SRP lawmaker for Kampot Mu Sochua reacted to Ms Thai’s killing on Thursday by saying that the issue of violence against women was not being taken seriously enough by Cambodian society as a whole.


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