The Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday tried a 38-year-old Thai man accused of murdering his girlfriend in a Daun Penh district guesthouse where the two stayed last year.
Sarisri Boonsri was arrested in October after his girlfriend Voeu Sreymao, 20, was discovered strangled to death in a guesthouse in Phsar Thmei I commune.
The case was initially scheduled for trial in March but Judge Ke Sakhon ordered the case reopened for further investigation.
In court yesterday, Mr Boonsri said he and Ms Sreymao had checked into the guesthouse on Oct 11. He said that he had left at 6:30 pm the following day, before the victim, and could not account for what happened to her afterwards.
“I didn’t kill her and I don’t know about the victim dying,” he said, speaking through an interpreter. “Please judge, find justice for me because I didn’t do this.”
A police report read in court said the victim had died at about 2 am on Oct 12, well before the accused claimed to have left the guesthouse.
“The corpse had abrasions on the neck from strangulation. She had bite marks on her tongue, and abrasions on her neck and face,” according to the report.
Mr Boonsri’s lawyer Touch Chhay said not enough evidence existed to prove that his client had killed the young woman or to determine a precise time of death.
“There is not enough evidence to confirm that my client killed the victim and I request the judge acquit my client,” he said.
Deputy prosecutor Koeur Bunnara said the time of death and the accused’s testimony show Mr Boonsri’s culpability.
“I maintain the charge against my suspect of intentional killing,” he said.
Norn Chreb, the mother of the victim, asked during an interview after the trial who else could have killed her daughter, if not Mr Boonsri.
“I demand $25,000 in compensation,” she said.
Judge Sakhon said the verdict would be announced on Aug 5.