Arsonist freed after reduced sentence

Buth Reaksmey Kongkea / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Police escort Keo Ratanak. Supplied

Kandal Provincial Court on Friday released convicted arsonist Keo Ratanak, also known as Gech, after the court reduced her sentence from three years to 15 months.

Ms Gech, a 38-year-old businesswoman from Phnom Penh, in 2018 was sentenced to three years in prison for the use of forged public documents, sending death threats and intentionally causing damage with intent to hurt others.

“The provincial court convicted and sentenced her to three years, but the term of her punishment was reduced to one year and three months,” Brigadier General Chat Sineang, chief of Kandal provincial prison, said yesterday.

Ms Gech was released on May 16, or two months earlier than her reduced sentence, for good behaviour.

“She was released from prison on Friday after she had completed the term of her punishment as per court’s verdict,” Brig Gen Sineang said.

Captain Nuon Sareth, a military police officer wtih Kandal provincial military police, said that at about 9am on April 16 last year, Ms Gech had an argument with a woman who is the owner of Bright Way Furniture and Plywood Factory located in Poeuk commune.

Cap Sareth noted that during the argument, Ms Gech poured two barrels of gasoline on the factory and set it on fire. The fire engulfed the factory and destroyed all major properties.

Cap Sareth said that it took authorities four hours to extinguish the fire and stop it from spreading to other areas.

“She was a gangster. She had an argument with the victim and burned the victim’s factory and the properties.” Cap Sareth said yesterday. “After burning down the factory, she drove her luxury car and fled to Phnom Penh.”

Cap noted that Ms Gech was arrested at about 4pm that day in her home, where military police seized a luxury car along with the forged military number plate, as well as other forged military police documents from her.

According to military police’s report, in February 14, 2017, Ms Gech had been previously arrested and sent to jail in Prey Sar prison for about three weeks for driving a luxury car and hitting a 27-year-old man, who was the son of former CNRP Lawmaker Dam Sith.

She was released on bail the next month after she paid $5,000 in compensation to the victim.

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