Samraong Torng district police in Kampong Speu province on Monday arrested a former pagoda chief monk who allegedly attacked a monk with cleaver over invitations to dharma recitals.
Lieutenant Colonel Khut Sophal, a district police officer, identified the suspect as San Kimsorn, 40, the former chief monk of Kiri Sleng pagoda who has been defrocked, and the victim as Venerable Sok Bunthy.
He noted that the attack occurred in the pagoda on October 11 and that the victim was seriously injured and is recovering in the provincial hospital.
“We arrested him on Monday after the victim filed a complaint accusing him of hacking him with the cleaver, seriously injuring him on the right arm, leg and hip,” Lt Col Sophal said.
Another district police officer, who declined to be named, said yesterday that although the incident happened on October 11, the victim only filed the complaint on Monday after negotiations for a settlement between both parties failed.
“They were given time to negotiate outside the court, but it could be resolved,” he noted. “So the victim filed the complaint and we arrested the suspect.”
He added that police sent the suspect to the provincial police for questioning on Tuesday.
Colonel Chea Vanna, deputy provincial police chief in charge of the serious crime bureau, said the suspect claimed he did not intend to harm the victim and acted in self defence.
“He said that the victim was jealous of him because he was always invited to attend dharma recitals and he was not,” Col Vanna said. “He claimed that the victim came to see him armed with a cleaver on October 11.”
“The accused said that he became fearful and grabbed the cleaver and the victim was injured in the struggle,” he added.