Trial Nearing for Woman Charged in Husband’s Death

The case of Lin Kim, 41, whom authorities have charged with the June slaying of her husband, will come to trial within the next two weeks, according to a clerk at Phnom Penh Municipal Court.

“I really hope that it happens soon. Right now Lin Kim is living in a shelter and we need to know the verdict,” Cambodian Wom­en’s Crisis Center lawyer Ith Phum said.

The killing occurred on the night of June 14, after Lin Kim slapped her daughter, Vang Seam, 22. The sound drew her husband, Mov Vang, from his hammock, police said.

Mov Vang began beating his wife, police said. Lin Kim stabbed and killed Mov Vang with a peeling knife in what she claims is self-defense.

Neighbors in the Stung Mean­chey squatter district in Phnom Penh, where the couple lived, said the noise of the couple fighting had been a familiar sound for 20 years.

After Lin Kim was arrested, the women’s center intervened on her behalf, requesting she await trial in a shelter, due to her physical state after the beatings.

Cambodian courts are usually lenient in such domestic violence cases, but sometimes wealth and status come into play when a verdict is decided, Ith Phum said. The attorney said he hopes the judge will be fair in reviewing Lin Kim’s case, and consider her poverty and number of children.

Kim Sathavy, a lawyer and adviser to Deputy Prime Minister  Sar Kheng, said that although it is understandable a lawyer would try to gain a judge’s sympathy by citing his client’s woes, Lin Kim’s economic status is irrelevant.

“Many people in Cambodia are poor. That is no reason for them to get away with a crime,” Kim Sathavy said.

A domestic violence law was originally scheduled to be submitted to the National Assembly by December, but has recently been delayed, according to a member of the committee in charge of drafting the law.


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