Ex-Cambodian governor jailed 13 years for mistress murder

A Cambodian court on Monday convicted former Takeo provincial governor Lay Vannak, 46, of murdering his mistress and sentenced him to 13 years in prison, according to a court verdict.

The verdict also sentenced former Takeo provincial deputy police chief Lay Narith, 47, who is Vannak's older brother, to 10 years in jail for helping Vannak to commit the homicide.


"The court found Lay Vannak and Lay Narith guilty of committing the murder," said the verdict pronounced by Phnom Penh Municipal Court Presiding Judge Ham Mengse.


"The court decides to sentence Lay Vannak to 13 years in prison and Lay Narith to 10 years in prison."


According to the verdict, the court also sentenced Vannak's driver and his mistress's house caretaker to two years in jail for covering up evidence.

The four were arrested in April last year, nearly three months after Chev Sovathana, Vannak's 36-year-old mistress was found hanging in her rented villa in southern Takeo province, and local police reported that it was a suicide.

However, Interior Ministry police had launched a re-investigation into the case and found that it was a murder.

The police accused Vannak and Narith of committing the murder and then, they ordered the driver and the house caretaker to take Sovathana's body and make it appear that she had hanged herself.

During a hearing in July, both Vannak and Narith denied the allegations, saying that they did not kill Sovathana.

Under the country's law, the convicts have a month to appeal against the guilty verdict.


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