Local Newspaper Publisher Gets Premeditated Murder Charge

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Sunday charged a man with murder for allegedly killing his friend Srun Sopheak, whose body was found stuffed in a bag and discarded in a roadside trash pile late last month, according to a military police official.

Khan Daravuth, deputy head of the municipal military police’s investigations and justice department, said the court charged Som Kimsean, 37, the publisher of local newspaper Sovan Nokor, with premeditated murder following his confession to police last week.

“The suspect admitted to the killing and we are looking to arrest two more suspects,” he said.

“Som Kimsean is the main suspect who strangled the victim with the help from another suspect,” he said. “The suspects killed the victim because the suspects… lost money gambling and killed the victim to get his possessions.”

Mr. Daravuth said Mr. Kimsean and two other men invited Srun Sopheak, 35—a courier for garment factories whose body was discovered on May 23—to go out drinking the night before and slipped sleeping pills into his beer.

The suspects then drove Srun Sopheak in his Toyota Camry to a secluded area, where they strangled him, he added.

Mr. Daravuth said Srun Sopheak’s body was then packed into a bag and dumped along Street 371 in Sen Sok district.

In the days after the murder, the three suspects attempted to sell the Toyota Camry to two different casinos, both of which refused their offer. They eventually pawned it to a mobile payment shop for $5,000, Mr. Daravuth said.

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