Supreme Court Hears of Acid Attack Against Market Vendor

The Supreme Court on Wednesday heard the case of a couple who were charged as accomplices in an acid attack on a woman and her young child at a market in Takeo province in November 2014.

Muong Sreymom, then 31, was feeding her 2-year-old daughter at her cosmetics stall in Tonlab market in Kiri Vong district when they were attacked with acid by two siblings who worked at a competing stall. Ms. Sreymom suffered burns on almost half of her body, while her child was burned on her face and arm.

Deng Leakhena and her brother Deng Meas, 22 and 28 at the time, were charged that month for committing the attack, while their parents—Seng Kimleng, 55, and father Nhe Deng, 57—were charged as accomplices.

The siblings remain at large. Their parents were released after questioning and placed under court supervision following the attack.

The Appeal Court decided in April to uphold the charges against the parents, but asked the provincial court to investigate the case further.

Veng Bunthoeun, deputy prosecutor-general at the Supreme Court, on Wednesday asked judges to again uphold the charges.

“Witnesses said they saw Seng Kimleng take a bowl to Deng Leakhena and Deng Meas before they committed the attack,” he said, referring to a container of acid witnesses claim to have seen.

Chun Socheat, the lawyer for the defendants, who were not present at the hearing, said the lower courts had also heard exculpatory evidence from witnesses.

“When [Nhe Deng] heard someone yelling he was holding a child and he went to look. He knows nothing about what happened,” he said, asking the judge to drop the charges.

Outside the court, Ms. Sreymom’s husband, Luy Sovannaroth, called on the court to prosecute Ms. Kimleng and Mr. Deng.

“The court should arrest the parents because they were involved in the attack,” he said, adding that the trauma had also caused his wife to have a miscarriage.

Presiding Judge Kem Sathavy said a decision would be announced on March 9.

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