The duo testify in court about the murder of a loan shark

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The Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday heard the case of two men accused of killing a businessman who lent them $300,000.

The murder took place around 12:30 p.m. on December 17, 2020 on a quiet street in Phloeung Chhes Rotes commune of Kambul district.

Presiding Judge Hok Pov identified the two defendants as Sok Hengsambo, 32, the former owner of a gas station in Pong Toek township of Dangkor district; and Pheng Sithol, 41, a former military officer from Chaom Chao I commune in Por Senchey district.

Judge Pov identified the victim as Nouv Chamnan, 45, a pawnbroker who lived in Chaom Chao III commune of Por Senchey district.

He said both were charged with “complicity in murder and unauthorized possession of a weapon” under sections 29, 199 and 490 of the penal code. They each face up to 15 years in prison.

He said that in 2019, Hengsambo borrowed $300,000 from the victim to expand his real estate business. In 2020, when the victim asked for his money, Hengsambo had no money to pay it back, so he borrowed a gun from Sithol, who was a military officer at the time. They were both arrested on December 19, 2020.

During his hearing yesterday, Hengsambo admitted to committing the offence, saying he was the only person who killed the victim.

“I borrowed the weapon from Sithol to kill him. I killed him because I was angry with him for always threatening to report me to the police and have me arrested for debt,” he confessed, asking the court to reduce his sentence.

While Sithol confessed to lending his pistol to Hengsambo, he claimed he did not know of his friend’s intention to kill the victim. Sithol asked the court to drop his charges and release him from jail.

The verdict is due on February 11.

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