A woman and her godson yesterday went on trial at Phnom Municipal Court over the 2016 murder of her husband whose body was tied to a large block of stone and thrown into a canal in the capital.
Presiding Judge Ros Piseth identified the accused as Sao Sam Oeun, 46, and So Pha, 29. Both are accused of murdering minibus driver Kao Pha, 50, whose body was found in a canal on October 14, 2016 by villagers in Por Senchey district’s Chom Chao commune.
Judge Piseth said that the two are accused of murdering Mr Pha in the commune three days earlier, adding that they were arrested on October 20, 2016. They face life sentences if convicted.
According to court documents, Mr Pha was a minibus taxi driver living in Siem Reap province while Ms Sam Oeun lived in Svay Rieng province.
The documents said Mr Pha married a 28-year-old garment worker and went to live with her in Phnom Penh. His first wife was enraged and allegedly conspired with her godson to murder him.
At yesterday’s trial, the two accused admitted to the crime, saying that they killed the victim because he had a second wife.
They said he often took money from Ms Sam Oeun to support the second wife.
Mr Pha told the court that Ms Sam Oeun paid him about $10,000 to kill the victim.
He said that on October 11, he persuaded the victim to drive him and some friends from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap and back.
He said that when they reached Kampong Thom province that night, he spiked the victim’s drink with sleeping pills and strangled him when he fell asleep.
“After killing the victim, I took his body and put it in a car boot,” he said. “I drove the car to Phnom Penh, tied the body to a big stone and threw it into a canal on the outskirts of the city.”
Ms Sam Oeun said that she hired Mr Pha to kill the victim because she was angry at him for taking her money to live with his young wife.
The court will deliver its verdict on August 21.