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Man faces life in prison over murder of cook

Buth Reaksmey Kongkea / Khmer Times Share:
The accused, right, outside the municipal court. Yubmin News

The trial of a Chinese businessman accused of murdering a Chinese cook began yesterday at Phnom Penh Municipal Court.

Soeu Londi, a deputy court prosecutor, identified the accused as Cheng Xia Jun, who lived in Chak Angre Loeu commune. Mr Cheng was arrested in October 2016 and charged with premeditated murder; he faces a life sentence if convicted.

Mr Londi said that on February 23, 2016, Mr Cheng and Long Chung Pao, the victim, were planning to open a bank account with $5,000.

He added that Mr Cheng made Mr Long withdraw the money from a different bank, but instead of heading to the other bank to open the account, the duo headed to the former’s shop in Chao Chao II commune.

Upon reaching a quiet place, Mr Cheng took out a knife and began hacking Mr Long to death. After he killed the victim, the accused stole the $5,000 and fled the scene.

The victim’s body was later discovered by local villagers who informed police.

Police managed to identify and locate Mr Cheng after CCTV footage from the bank was obtained. Mr Londi noted that the accused was later arrested at his rental home.

“Based on the evidence, I decided to uphold his charges and suggest that the judges punish him,” he said.

During yesterday’s trial, Mr Cheng denied the charge, saying that the man in the CCTV footage was not him. He said that he knew the victim, but did not kill him.

“That’s not me in the CCTV footage,” Mr Cheng said. “I did not kill the victim, I am the only victim here. Please drop the charge and release me.”

A verdict is due November 13.

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