Another player in the Khaou family murder saga sought to clear her name in a letter last week in which she refuted allegations that she cooperated in a plot to kill the wife and daughter of Commerce Minister Sun Chanthol.
Lay Huong, the longtime domestic partner of construction magnate Khaou Phallaboth, hit back at recent publicly released letters from Mr. Phallaboth claiming that Ms. Huong collaborated in the murder plot, which has already landed four people in prison.
“[Mr. Phallaboth] says I am a cruel person and accuses me of trying to destroy his family but it’s not true,” wrote Ms. Huong in a letter dated Tuesday.
“He said I was his mistress and a greedy person who tried to rob his property and mastermind a murder…. It is not true, and I am very hurt,” she said.
The complex case centers around the vast fortune of Khaou Chuly, an octogenarian tycoon and father of 12, whose wife, Khaou Seng Chanda, has been sentenced to 20 years for masterminding the planned assassination.
The plaintiff in the case, which reached the Supreme Court in 2012, was Sun Sotha, one of Mr. Chuly’s daughters and the wife of Mr. Chanthol, who was promoted to commerce minister in September.
Lawyers for Ms. Sotha argued that Ms. Seng Chanda’s crime was motivated by her desire to secure a greater share of the Khaou family fortune.
During the trial, Mr. Phallaboth and other members of the Khaou family accused Ms. Sotha and Mr. Chanthol of fabricating the case for similarly selfish ends.
But Mr. Phallaboth changed his story in a letter—dated in November but made public earlier this month—in which he claims that since the trial he has learned that Ms. Seng Chanda is guilty of the charges against her.
In those letters, he claims that Ms. Huong, whom he describes as his former “mistress,” worked in concert with Ms. Seng Chanda to plot the murder.
In her own letter last week, Ms. Huong wrote that Mr. Phallaboth was lying, and using the case as an excuse to deprive her of money they earned together.
Ms. Huong also took strong issue with the term “mistress,” saying that she and Mr. Phallaboth were not legally married, but lived together from 2004 to 2012, raising their daughter and cooperating on a number of business ventures.
sovuthy@cambodiadaily.com
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