Teen gets 16 years in jail for killing boy, 11

An 18-year-old youth was sentenced to 16 years in prison and fined $10,000 on Thursday over a 2018 murder-robbery case which claimed the life of a 11-year-old boy in Takeo province, Children Protection Unit (CPU) wrote on its Facebook page on Friday.

The convict, CPU said, was arrested in Battambang province’s Kamrieng a remote town bordering Thailand – at about 9:10am on July 26 last year.

The then 17-year-old Phan Panharith, also known as Vev, had been wanted in connection with the robbery and homicide of a boy which occurred in Takeo province two weeks earlier.

“The age of the defendant was taken into consideration at the time of sentencing,” CPU said, acknowledging the commitment and dedication of “all persons involved in the arrest including Takeo Police Command, Battambang Police Command, Kam Reing Administration Police, Ministry of Interior and CPU staff” to the investigation.

CPU said an “exhaustive six-day manhunt spanning numerous provinces across Cambodia” had been carried out prior to the offender’s arrest.

Speaking to local reporter recently, CPU director James McCabe expressed his appreciation to “the court, judge and prosecutors for doing a good job and abiding by all legal procedures”.

He regarded the conviction as “reasonable, good and fair”. “Cambodia’s laws are very strict and tough on people who commit murder,” he said.

On July 12, 2018, Vev, who resided in Takeo’s Prey Phdao commune, and his female accomplice from Taing Yab commune, allegedly murdered the boy and robbed him of his motorbike.

It is unclear whether the accomplice took part in the killing. As of press time, our reporter could not confirm her whereabouts or legal status.

The victim’s body was found a week later, resulting in the authorities going after the suspects who had fled the province.

Following a nationwide search, Fresh News reported, the arrest of both suspects was made on July 26 in Doung village, in Battambang province’s Kamrieng district. They were sent to Takeo provincial court for legal proceedings.

When The Post attempted to clarify the information, neither the Takeo provincial court spokesperson nor the deputy prosecutor Lim Sokhan and Phan Sopheak, respectively could provide any details.