Four convicted over armed rumble

Phnom Penh: Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday convicted four people and sentenced them to two years in prison and six months each over their involvement in a rumble that broke out in Por Senchey district last year.

Judge Heng Kessaror said Seth Kath, Kim Yi, Im Chanthan and his son Im Phaneth are all guilty of acts of intentional violence with aggravating circumstances.

According to reports, the violence took place at 8pm on May 19 in Chumpou Voan II village in Chom Chao commune after a relative of Mr Kath was bitten by Mr Chanthan’s dog.

“Based on evidence and the testimonies of all of the accused, the court finds them guilty for fighting each other over the dispute,” Judge Kessaror said. “Therefore, the court has decided to sentence them all to two years and six months in prison each. However, the court shall hand only one year in prison each and the rest of their sentences are suspended.”

“The court orders each of them to pay about $1,250 each to be put in the state’s coffers,” he added.

According to Judge Kessaror, on May 19 a relative of Mr Kath and Mr Yi was walking by Mr Chantan’s house when a dog belonging to the homeowner bit him.

The relative then told Mr Kath and Mr Yi about the dog and the three of them, along with three other friends, got on their vehicles to confront Mr Chanthan about putting a leash on his dog.

However, Mr Chanthan did not comply and soon an argument turned into a full-on rumble with weapons involved.

Upon seeing his father in trouble, Mr Phaneth then went to intervene wielding a samurai sword.

After about ten minutes, police then arrived at the scene and prevented the violence from going further.

According to police, all four had been injured in the rumble and sent to hospital for treatment.

Judge Kessaror said the four were then arrested on May 21 after they had recovered from their injuries.

During their trial on March 6, all four admitted to the offence, but asked the court to drop their charges and blamed each other on who started the fight.

Mr Kath told the court that the fight broke out because of Mr Chanthan.

“My group merely travelled to Mr Chanthan’s house to inform him about how his dog bit my relative and caused him injuries,” he said. “I wanted him to be held accountable for it.”

“But Mr Chanthan and his son were holding samurai swords and his wife, who was holding a hoe, started attacking my group,” Mr Kath added. “To defend myself, I took a piece of steel from my vehicle and started attacking them back.”

He noted that during the attack, Mr Chanthan’s group damaged his vehicles, including a tuk-tuk and a motorbike.

Mr Chanthan told the court that on the day of the violence, it was Mr Kath’s group that began attacking at his family.

He said that Mr Kath’s group entered his property while his wife and son were inside his house.

“His group was cruel. They entered my property and beat me inside my own house,” Mr Chanthan said. “My son came to help, but they attacked him and caused injuries to his head.”

“To defend ourselves, we fought back using pieces of steel and timber,” he said, noting that he and his son did not wield samurai swords.