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Former monk charged over layman’s assault

Buth Reaksmey Kongkea / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Kim Vongvichea was defrocked after allegedly attacking a layman at his pagoda. Nokor Wat

Kampong Thom provincial court on Monday charged and jailed a defrocked senior monk who allegedly assaulted a layman following an argument at a pagoda in Sandan district.

The incident occurred at about 11.30am on Friday at Serei Oudom pagoda in Meanchey commune’s Choan Leng village.

Colonel Uong Mouly, district police chief, yesterday identified the accused as Kim Vongvichea, 59, the former first deputy chief monk at the pagoda.

He identified the victim as Aing Kokhim, 45, a layman who lives in the commune.

Colonel Mouly said Mr Vongvichea was charged with acts of intentional violence with aggravating circumstances and faces up to three years in jail if convicted. He noted that the accused has been sent to prison pending trial.

Second Lieutenant Nuon Phally, a commune police officer, yesterday said that at about 11.30am on Friday, the accused shouted at nuns and laymen who were talking loudly during a ceremony in the pagoda.

He said Mr Kokhim told Mr Vongvichea not to shout so loudly because it was upsetting members of the public who were present and would affect the dignity of the monkhood.

Aing Kokhim receives medical attention after the attack. Nokor Wat

Sec Lt Phally said the accused became angry, went to his room to take a piece of rosewood and started beating the victim.

“Mr Vongvichea was angry with Mr Kokhim, who was younger than him, for finding fault with him in front of a crowd,” he said. “He then took a big piece of rosewood and hit the victim several times, which caused serious injuries, including two broken ribs.”

“People who were present intervened and took Mr Kokhim to the district health centre for treatment,” he added.

He noted that Mr Vongvichea was arrested on Saturday after being defrocked and expelled from the pagoda following a complaint by the victim.

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