Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday charged a 29-year-old man who allegedly torched his rental room in Stung Meanchey commune after being evicted for drug use.
Captain Seng Chetra, a Meanchey district police officer, identified the accused as Sok Chea, a garment factory driver who was renting a room in the commune.
Cap Chetra said the court yesterday charged the accused with drug use and intentionally causing damage. He faces up to five years in jail if convicted.
Cap Chetra said that the owner of the building got into an argument with the accused last week on August 7, when she informed him of his eviction for drug use.
A few days later, the accused brought two litres of gasoline to the building and set his room aflame in anger, he noted.
“He was angry at the owner of house over the eviction,” he said. “He poured two liters of gasoline in the room, and began a fire that caused serious damages.”
“While the fire was burning, he could not flee, and he suffered serious injuries,” he added. “But luckily, he was rescued by neighbours and sent by our police to the hospital for treatment.”
Cap Chetra said the accused was arrested on Friday, the day of the fire.
He noted that the building owner and neighbours were able to extinguish the fire on their own.
However, it destroyed three rooms before being brought under control, he said. During his interrogating at the police station, the accused admitted to the crime, he added.
Cap Chetra said the accused claimed he began the fire because he was angry over the owner of the building evicting him.
The accused has been jailed pending his trial.