A 25-year-old woman was charged with premeditated murder in Takeo province on Thursday morning after confessing to the murder of her friend last week, but only after escaping an angry mob while attempting to re-enact the crime.
Sat Makara was arrested in neighboring Kampot province on Monday afternoon, five days after she allegedly cut the throat of her friend Chea Socheat, 23, an employee of the provincial tourism department.
The victim’s body was found submerged in the Tonle Bati lake on Wednesday a few meters from a picnic bungalow she and Ms. Makara had been relaxing in earlier that day. Her throat had been slit three times, police said, and Ms. Makara later confessed to killing her friend in order to pawn her motorbike for $350 and sell her jewelry for $125.
“This morning, she was charged with premeditated murder according to Article 200 of Cambodia’s Criminal Code—a crime that will result in life in prison,” Phann Sopheak, deputy provincial court prosecutor, said on Thursday.
Hun Hem, deputy chief of the provincial police’s serious crimes bureau, said Ms. Makara initially admitted to murdering her friend on Monday evening and was escorted back to the scene of the crime the next morning in order to re-enact the crime, but that she barely escaped an angry mob.
As investigators walked her to the bungalow, he said, they were surrounded by at least 100 people.
“The mob yelled, ‘Don’t let her live! Kill her!’” Mr. Hem said. “Some members of the mob were holding rocks and sticks and yelling, “Why are you so cruel? You are a woman. Why did you kill another woman?”
About 50 police officers were at the scene, he said, but were barely able to keep the surging crowd at bay.
“We couldn’t do [the re-enactment], so we put her back in the car and came back” to the district police station, he added.
Ms. Makara was sent to the Takeo Provincial Court on Wednesday afternoon but was not charged until Thursday due to time constraints, Mr. Hem said.
soumy@cambodiadaily.com
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