Ratanakkiri Provincial Court yesterday charged a youth who allegedly hacked a friend to death with a machete over an unpaid $250 debt before going into hiding in April.
Lieutenant Colonel Seng Sophath, provincial general crimes department deputy chief, identified the accused as Kreal Tatuoth, 20.
He noted that the accused is charged with premeditated murder and faces a life sentence if convicted. He is now in prison pending trial.
Lt Col Sophath said that on April 11, Mr Tatuoth called the victim Sou Siek, 21, to negotiate the repayment of the $250 he borrowed five months earlier.
He noted that the accused and victim agreed to meet inside a cashew plantation in Kon Mom district’s Ta Ang commune where they both worked.
Lt Col Sophath said that when the victim met the accused, Mr Tatuoth hacked him with a machete several times on the neck, causing him to die on the spot.
He noted that after killing Mr Siek, the accused threw his body into an empty well on a nearby farm.
“He was angry with the victim for not repaying the money after many months,” Lt Col Sophath said. “He then hatched a plot to kill Mr Siek.”
He noted that the victim’s badly decomposed body was found by his family on April 17.
Col Sophath said the accused came knew that the family found the body and quickly quit his job and fled the commune to go into hiding.
He noted that on Monday, the accused returned home to visit his parents and police arrested him.
Second Lieutenant Muth Sokha, a district police officer, said yesterday that during his interrogation the accused admitted killing the victim because he was angry with him for not repaying the $250.