Girlfriend Denies Arranging Hit in Grenade Attack Case

A woman accused of orchestrating a Phnom Penh grenade attack that injured at least three people during a failed attempt to kill her boyfriend denied the charges on Thursday during the first day of her trial.

The attack in the city’s busy Chamkar Mon district last September led to the arrests of 38-year-old Sok Kimly, who was charged with initiating premeditated murder, and four alleged accomplices.

A man takes photographs of the scene of the grenade blast in Phnom Penh in September last year. (Siv Channa/The Cambodia Daily)

Bun Pheakdey, 32, and Sak Mab, 36, whom Mr. Pheakdey allegedly hired to carry out the hit, were charged with premeditated murder. Nou Samban, 33, a moto-taxi driver who allegedly introduced Mr. Pheakdey to Mr. Mab, and 25-year-old Bou Sopheap, Mr. Pheakdey’s mistress, were charged as accomplices in premeditated murder.

Ms. Kimly told police at the time that she had ordered the hit on her then-boyfriend Ea Lyhour, who was not hurt in the attack, because he owed her $50,000 and had an affair with another woman.

However, under questioning by Presiding Judge Ly Sokleng on Thursday, Ms. Kimly retracted her confession and denied that she had hired anyone to kill Mr. Lyhour. “The testimonies I gave before were not true,” she said. “I just asked him [Mr. Pheakdey] to ask for the money back [from Mr. Lyhour],” she added. “I did not know he did like this.”

When Mr. Sokleng pressed her on her previous testimony, Ms. Kimly said she could not read Khmer and had thumb-printed the documents without knowing what they said.

The judge then read out Ms. Kimly’s previous testimony, in which she said she promised Mr. Pheakdey $30,000 to hire a hitman in August, and gave him another $5,000 to buy a gun and motorbike.

Mr. Pheakdey told the court that Ms. Kimly had hired him to find a killer.

“She called to me to find a murderer to kill Ea Lyhour,” he said, adding that he had been introduced to Mr. Mab, the alleged hitman.

Meanwhile, Ms. Sopheap said she had simply introduced Mr. Samban, the driver, to Mr. Pheakdey, while Mr. Samban said he introduced Mr. Pheakdey to Mr. Mab, but both denied being brokered to do so.

The trial was to continue today.

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