The Supreme Court yesterday heard the appeal of disgraced former Phnom Penh police chief Heng Pov and his subordinates on several charges including attempted murder and illegal confinement.
Phnom Penh Municipal Court in 2008 convicted Heng Pov, Oum Samkheng, and Hang Vuthy to 18 years in jail for the attempted murder of Electricite du Cambodge employee Kim Daravuth over an electricity bill dispute.
The suspects were also ordered to pay $800,000 in compensation to Mr Daravuth, who was left paralysed from the neck down after the attack.
The Appeal Court upheld the men’s sentences in 2010. Mr Samkheng and Mr Vuthy were absent at the hearing yesterday.
Mr Pov, 60, said he appealed to the Supreme Court because Mr Samkheng and Mr Vuthy were not brought to the trial at the Appeal Court.
Mr Daravuth appeared to give evidence, accusing Mr Pov of attempting to kill him because his officials cut off the police chief’s electricity supply for missing a payment.
“I have struggled with many difficulties since becoming paralysed 12 years ago. I am an intellectual but have suffered at the hands of this bad person,” said Mr Daravuth.
“Mr Heng Pov committed the crime. I came here because I want the court to find justice for me.”
Mr Daravuth said Mr Pov was widely feared in his reign as Phnom Penh police chief. Even those who saw him commit crimes were too scared to testify against him, he added.
Vong Nilina, Mr Daravuth’s wife, asked the Supreme Court to decide on the case quickly so her husband could pay for medical treatment with the compensation owed to him.
“My family and I struggle to take care of him because he cannot move his body,” said Ms Nilina.
Mr Pov denied Mr Daravuth’s claims, saying he never argued with the victim or committed any crime against him, but had only ever disputed with EDC officials over low rates of electricity paid by factories and hotels.
The Supreme Court also heard an appeal relating to Mr Pov’s conviction for the attempted murder of tycoon Thong Uy Pang, publisher of the Koh Santepheap newspaper, in 1998.
Mr Pov, Ly Rasy, Pheng Phai, and Veng Heng were sentenced by Phnom Penh Municipal Court in 2009 to 18 years each in jail for the attempted murder of Mr Uy Pang and his bodyguard Yim Chhoeun.
Mr Pov said previously that he was innocent and blamed the crime on the late commander of the National Police, Hok Lundy.
“I did not commit these things as accused,” he said. “I have already told the court that those who were involved in the shooting of Thong Uy Pang were Hok Lundy’s people, but they were not investigated.”
A third case, relating to illegal confinement, was also heard in the court yesterday.
Mr Pov and Mr Rasy were in 2010 sentenced to ten and five years apiece for confining victims Heng Kimleang and Chan Seab in two separate attacks.
Mr Pov said many high level police officials were involved in the case so he should not be the only one imprisoned.
The deputy-general prosecutor said all the charges against the suspects still stand, and asked the judges to punish the offenders according to the law. Presiding judge Kim Sathavy said the verdict on the appeal will be announced on Wednesday.