Brother-in-law, wife and son detained over Stung Treng man’s murder


The son, wife and brother-in-law of a man who was beaten to death on February 1 were put in pre-trial detention at the provincial prison on Sunday by Stung Treng provincial court, following their arrest on Friday in Phluk village in Sesan district’s Phluk commune.

Speaking to The Post, provincial serious crime office chief Duong Sivutha identified the suspects as Rithy Somath, 19, the victim’s son, Met Ath, 33, the victim’s wife, and Met Ky, 22, Ath’s brother.

The victim was identified as Thorng Rithy, 36, who resided in Phluk village.

“The three suspects were charged and put into pre-trial detention by Stung Treng provincial court this afternoon [Sunday]."

“The [wife] and her brother were charged as accomplices, while [the victim’s] son was charged with murder, on the instruction of provincial investigating judge Uong Vuthea,” Sivutha said.

If the court finds Somath guilty of murder, he faces 10 to 15 years imprisonment, while the alleged accomplices face similar punishment if found guilty.

“According to the wife’s statement, she had an argument with the victim. After that, his son grabbed a stick from his father, but her brother was only trying to help.

“The suspects have not admitted that what they have done is wrong,” he said.

Sivutha said Ath told police that on February 1, her husband was drunk and that the two quarrelled. Then the victim grabbed a stick and started beating her, she alleged.

He said Ath claimed Somath took the stick from his father and, along with his uncle, killed him.

Sivutha said after the victim was killed, the suspects tied stones to the body and dropped it into the Sesan River, seeking to hide the evidence.

On February 4, Rithy’s body was pulled out of the river by fishermen, who reported the discovery to the police.

After the body was found, Sivutha said, police opened an investigation and searched the victim’s home. Behind the house, they found the string that had been used to tie up the victim’s body.

Police questioned the suspects at Stung Treng provincial police station and they confessed.