A former military officer yesterday went on trial in Phnom Penh Municipal Court over the assault and attempted murder of his wife and brother-in-law.
The brother-in-law, Bou Vibol, 41, lost his right thumb and three fingers in the incident on November 24 last year.
Suong Vannak, 53, a former military instructor with the rank of lieutenant colonel at the Defence Ministry, was charged with violence committed by a spouse or partner and attempted murder.
He faces up to 15 years in jail if convicted.
The alleged attack took place in Mr Vannak’s house in Phnom Penh’s Por Senchey district.
Presiding judge Leang Samnath said Mr Vannak was arrested by district police after he beat his wife, Bou Sina, 44, and inflicted the injuries on Mr Vibol.
Mr Samnath said Mr Vannak had argued with his wife and hit her. He took a cleaver and threatened to kill her.
Ms Sina later phoned Mr Vibol and told him about the beating.
Mr Vibol drove to Ms Sina’s house to take her to stay with him.
“But when Mr Vibol arrived at the house and went to his sister, Mr Vannak took the cleaver and attacked him, causing him to lose his right thumb, three fingers and suffer an injury to his left arm,” he said.
Mr Vannak fled but police arrested him later.
In court yesterday, Mr Vannak admitted he had hacked Mr Vibol with the cleaver but denied beating or threatening his wife.
“I took the cleaver to cut him because he beat me on the head with a big stick first,” he told the court.
“To defend myself, I attacked him back. It was self-defence which is allowed under the law. I did not intend to kill him.”
Mr Vannack asked for leniency.
Mr Vibol denied having a stick and beating the accused.
“He cut me many times. He was a very cruel man,” Mr Vibol said.
“I would like to ask the court to strongly punish him so that he will not commit such an act to anyone else.”
The verdict is due on the afternoon of July 19.