Monday, January 19, 2009The Phnom Penh Municipal Supreme Court on Monday sentenced two men to five years each in prison under the charge with committing robbery. A 20-year-old Kang Vannara and his 19-year-old roommate Chhuon Boran were arrested at around 7 A.M. in Aug 2008 after police had found three circles of the electrical wire and wire cutters in the toilet of their rental room in Phnom Penh’s Dang Kor district. However, the two stealers ruled out the accusation when being questioned in the court room. Nonetheless, while being under the police custody, they confessed that they had stolen the electrical wire. “If I did not accept the thievery, the police officers would torture us,” Kang Vannara said in front of the three judges. And they did not know how the electric wire managed to be in his room, Chhuon Boran said.
Chhuon Boran also confirmed that at the night he, together with his friend Kang Vannara, had accompanied (on walk) his girlfriend, who is a karaoke girl, to Suon Bopha restaurant, her work place. Speaking in anonymousness, a lawyer said most of his clients always assert that they are forced to acknowledge the crimes after they are taken into police custody. According to a complaint against them, an eyewitness Aom Divorn said confirmed that a around 3 A.M. on Aug 6, the electricity at his house went away. Therefore, he suspected that someone had cut the wire secretarially. He, along with his smaller brother, came out and checked on the wire, seeing two people dragging the stolen wire into the offender’s room in Kbal Domrey village, Khan Dangkor’s Kakab commune. Due to the darkness, the eyewitness could not recognize them. He instantly informed the local police to intervene. Kang Vannara and Chhuon Boran’s lawyer said that his clients were framed. Further more, the eyewitness just saw the stealers in the darkness. Hence, “one should not conclude that the two stealers are his clients,” he said. According to these reasons, the defense lawyer asked that the judge withdraw the charge against his clients and release them. According to Cambodian Law, a thievery which is committed by two stealers up is considered as a robbery, so they have to face criminal law.