Mondulkiri Provincial Court yesterday charged a 32-year-old farmer for damaging a statue of Lok Ta Phnom Doh Kramom in Sen Monorom city.
Provincial police officer Seng Sopheak identified the suspect as Morm Mon, from the city’s Sokha Dom commune.
He was arrested on Friday after causing damage to the statue of the female spirit, which a local mountain is named after.
Mr Sopheak said the suspect drank a large quantity of beer and rice wine on Thursday night.
He then took an axe from his home and went to the location of the statue in Doh Kramom village.The suspect used the axe to destroy the statue’s head and neck.
Mr Sopheak said witnesses identified the suspect to police, leading to his arrest the next day.
“He confessed during interrogation that he destroyed the statue because spirits inside him told him to do so,” he said. “He also said that he was very drunk and did not remember anything.”
Aun Bunthun, deputy chief of Sen Monorom city police, said the suspect beheaded the statue because he had a mental health condition and was a drug addict.
He said the Statue of Lok Ta Phnom Doh Kramom was a place of worship for villagers and had been refurbished by provincial authorities in October.
Mr Bunthun said police would now guard the shrine to prevent any further attacks.