Kandal Provincial Court yesterday sentenced a hired killer to 30 years in jail and the woman who hired him to 18 months over the murder of her lover in Khsach Kandal district in 2017.
Presiding Judge Say Samphors Serey identified them as Heap Thi, 45, an ex-soldier from Oddar Meanchey province’s Anlong Veng district, and Kheng La, 39, a farmer from Prey Veng province’s Por Rieng district.
He identified the victim as Sor Socheat, 46, a veterinarian and mango wholesaler who also lived in Porthiveang district.
Judge Samphors Serey noted that Mr Thi was convicted of premeditated murder while Ms La was convicted of initiating and hiring a killer to kill a victim. They were arrested by National Military Police on November 4 and November 31, 2017, respectively.
“The court decided to convict the accused Heap Thi and sentenced him to 30 years in prison,” the judge said. “The court also decided to convict the accused Kheng La and sentenced her to 18 months in prison.”
Lieutenant Colonel Kim Vichetr, Kandal provincial military police general crimes department deputy chief, said that according to investigations, Ms La in 2016 began a love affair with Mr Socheat who was living in the same village in Por Rieng commune.
He said the victim often stayed in Ms La’s house whenever her husband and children were away.
Lt Col Vichetr said that in October 2017, Ms La became afraid that her husband would find out about the affair and paid Mr Thi $3,000 to kill Mr Socheat.
He said that at about 9am on October 31, Ms La telephoned Mr Socheat to meet her at a mango orchard in Khsach Kandal district. She told him that she needed his help to buy mangoes at wholesale prices.
Lt Col Vichetr said Mr Socheat then traveled on his motorbike from his home in Por Rieng district to meet Ms La at the orchard. He said Ms La asked the victim to accompany her to inspect the mangoes growing in the orchard.
Lt Col Vichetr noted that Mr Thi, who pretended to be the orchard owner, stood nearby.
“When the victim was following Ms La into the orchard, Mr Thi took out a pistol from his trouser pocket and fired two shots at the victim’s head from behind, causing him to die on the spot,” he said. “After the murder Ms La fled back to her home while Mr Thi fled to hide in Siem Reap province.”
Lt Col Vichetr said that Mr Socheat’s body was found at about 5pm on October 31 by villagers who alerted commune police. He said police recovered the victim’s identity card from the body and provincial police informed his family.
Mr Socheat’s wife and children took the body back to Por Rieng district for a funeral.
Lt Col Vichetr said that during their investigations, neighbours informed police that Ms La had an affair with the victim and she was arrested at her house on November 4.
He noted that Ms La admitted committing the offense during her interrogation.
Lt Col Vichetr said that based on her confession, police searched for Mr Thi and arrested him at his rental house in Siem Reap province on November 31.