Kandal Provincial Court yesterday charged four men over the murder of a friend whom they were angry with for inviting them to sing at a karaoke shop and later telling them he did not have any money to pay the bill.
Captain Long Sopheak, a provincial military officer, identified them as Prum Vanda, 31, Prum Sambath, 19, Prum Sambok, 17, and Pang Samnang, 18, all construction workers working for a company in Kandal Stung district.
He said they were charged with intentional murder and face up to 15 years in prison each if convicted. All four are in prison pending trial.
Cap Sopheak identified the victim as Khorn Sovath, 19, also a construction worker who worked with the accused.
He said that during their interrogation, the four men said they and Mr Sovath drank beer at a local restaurant in the district’s Trapaing Veng commune at about 5pm on January 30. Cap Sopheak noted that they finished a case of Anchor beer.
He said that at about 7pm, the victim told his friends that he wanted to sing karaoke and invited them to follow him to the Stung Khieu Karaoke Club in the commune.
Cap Sopheak said they all agreed and walked about a kilometre to the karaoke club.
He said that when they reached the entrance of the club, Mr Vanda asked Mr Sovath if he had any money to pay for all of them at the karaoke session.
Cap Sopheak said the victim said he did not have any money and laughed after saying he thought Mr Vanda could pay for them.
He added that the five of them then walked back toward their construction site.
Cap Sopheak said that when they were passing through a quiet spot, the accused beat Mr Sovath to death because they were angry that he had tricked them.
“They confessed that they killed the victim because they were angry at him for telling them a lie,” he said. “He did not have any money but invited them to walk far to sing at the karaoke club.”
“They killed him by beating him with their belts and then threw his body in a nearby rice field before fleeing back to the construction site,” Cap Sopheak added.
He noted that the victim’s body was found by villagers at about 8am the next day.
Cap Sopheak said that the four accused were arrested at the construction site on Thursday after a villager told police that he had seen them drinking beer with the victim on the day of the murder.