PHNOM PENH, March 23 (Xinhua) -- A Cambodian court on Thursday gave a life imprisonment to a man who allegedly murdered political analyst Kem Ley in Phnom Penh on July 10 last year, according to a verdict.
The man, who was arrested shortly after the murder, identified himself as Chuob Samlab, which translates in English as "Meet Kill." He was charged with premeditated murder and illegal possession of a firearm.
"The court decided to sentence Chuob Samlab, 39, to life in prison," said the verdict pronounced by Phnom Penh Municipal Court's Presiding Judge Leang Samnath.
Chuob Samlab was taken inside the courtroom to hear his verdict amidst tight security.
During a hearing on March 1, Chuob Samlab, a former migrant worker in Thailand, confessed to the crime, claiming that Kem Ley cheated him out of 3,000 U.S. dollars in 2015.
He said Kem Ley promised to offer him a job and to build him a house when he gave him 3,000 U.S. dollars, but the 46-year-old political analyst did not honor his promises.
"I killed him because he cheated me," Chuob Samlab told the court. "I did it alone; no one hired me to kill him."
He said he bought a pistol from a Thai man at the price of 45,000 Thai Baht (1,284 U.S. dollars) in mid-April 2016 and traveled to Phnom Penh in early July 2016 in order to kill Kem Ley.
He added that he found Kem Ley in a Star Mart store at a gas station in Phnom Penh and fired two shots at his head and neck at point-blank range.