The trial of a former police officer accused of torturing and murdering his girlfriend resumed after a six-month break on Thursday in the Phnom Penh Municipal Court with the deputy prosecutor accusing a key defense witness of lying.
You Maliky, whose statement to police forced an adjournment in December so prosecutors could investigate his claims, took the stand to answer questions about the retrieval of Song Davin’s severely bruised body from a riverbank in Chroy Changva district on October 7, 2014.
Judge Veng Hourt asked Mr. Maliky to repeat testimony he gave to police, when he claimed he had seen Song Davin’s body being pulled from the river and identified her as a woman he had seen at a nightclub days earlier in a blue dress.
Contradicting his earlier statement slightly, Mr. Maliky said he had been one of the men who dragged Song Davin from the river and claimed he was able to identify her face and her black outfit.
Deputy prosecutor Che Song showed Mr. Maliky a photograph of a woman, whom Mr. Maliky identified as the victim.
“You are lying to the court. This is a picture of a witness and not a picture of the victim,” Mr. Song said.
Defense attorney Puth Dimong said Mr. Maliky’s testimony boosted the alibi for Song Davin’s then 27-year-old boyfriend, Hong Kalidin, who is on trial for her murder.
Mr. Kalidin, who had just joined the police force when he was arrested, has continued to claim that he last saw Song Davin when he dropped her off at a mall near the riverside on the afternoon of October 5.
In a previous statement, Mr. Maliky told police he had seen Song Davin at the Mekong nightclub in Russei Keo district at 8:30 p.m. on October 5.
In a closing statement, Mon Keosivin, the victim’s lawyer, argued that Mr. Kalidin murdered Song Davin in order to cover up a secret “business”—a claim that led Mr. Dimong to deny that the suspect was a drug dealer during his closing remarks.
“My client knew the secret of Mr. Hong Kalidin’s internal business so it led to a killing to cover the evidence,” Mr. Keosivin said.
Judge Hourt said that due to the complicated nature of the case, he had not yet decided when to announce the verdict.