Three Men Get Life for Murdering Gambling Den Owner

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Friday sentenced three men to life in prison for the fatal beating of the owner of a small Phnom Penh gambling den where they lost money.

Presiding Judge Y Thavrak read out the verdicts for Pong Vuthy, 23, Yam Phoeun, 29, and Chin Pheakdey, 18, which included 60 million riel, or about $15,000, in compensation that the court ordered the defendants to pay the victim’s family.

The murder took place in Sen Sok district’s Phnom Penh Thmei commune in April last year as the three defendants robbed Chhay Hak after losing money at his establishment.

They beat Chhay Hak to death with pieces of wood, the court heard.

Hout Nora, the three men’s lawyer, said by telephone that he would discuss appealing the sentence with his clients “because it is a serious sentence.”

“My clients confessed to killing the victim,” Mr. Nora said. “So the court should consider mitigating circumstances.”

Premeditated murder, however, is only punishable with a life sentence, according to the Criminal Code.

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