Warrants Issued for Acid Attack Suspects

Phnom Penh Municipal Court issued a warrant Thursday for the arrest of a prominent government official’s wife on charges of attempted murder in connection with an acid attack on an 18-year-old karaoke singer.

Investigating Judge Mong Mony Chakriya said Monday that the arrest warrant for Khun Sophal, 40, was issued last Thursday. He said that arrest warrants also were issued for two unidentified bodyguards who allegedly took part in the attack.

Police charge that the three poured 5 liters of acid over Tang Samarina as she sat at a roadside food stall near the Olympic market on Dec 6.

Khun Sophal personally pour­ed some of the acid on the woman, said Lok Lon, Chamkar Mon district police chief, citing the police investigation.

Khun Sophal is the wife of Svay Sitha, a Council of Ministers undersecretary of state.

Municipal police officials said Monday that they had received the arrest warrant for Khun Sophal, but no warrants yet for the two bodyguards.

Police officials complained last week that a court delay in issuing arrest warrants for the three had hampered attempts to apprehend the suspects.

Although welcoming the news of the arrest warrant Monday, Lok Lon said the whereabouts of Khun Sophal and her two accomplices remain unknown. Police have said previously that Khun Sophal may have fled to Singa­pore or Thailand.

Singapore and Cambodia have no extradition treaty. Sing­a­por­ean Ambassador Mushahid Ali said Monday he had no information regarding claims that Khun Sophal may be in hiding there.

A senior immigration police official based at Pochentong Airport said Monday that orders arrived only last Friday to arrest Khun Sophal if she appeared at the airport.

Doctor at Kossamak hospital in Phnom Penh who are treating Tang Samarina said Monday her condition was improving but plastic surgery would be necessary.


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