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Ex-monk charged after trying to kill ex-girlfriend

Buth Reaksmey Kongkea / Khmer Times Share:
The accused after his arrest and prior to his defrocking. Nokorwat News

Banteay Meanchey Provincial Court yesterday charged a defrocked monk for allegedly trying to murder his former girlfriend who left him for another man.


Brigadier General Sith Lah, deputy chief of the provincial general crimes department, identified the accused as Toan Savorn, 52, from Chamsathea Veas pagoda in Serei Sophon city.

He said that Mr Savorn was arrested and defrocked on Saturday after he stabbed Seng Phalla, 46, a widow and businesswoman living in Poipet city’s Nimet commune.

Brig Gen Lah noted that the accused was charged with attempted murder and faces up to ten years in jail if convicted. He is now in prison pending trial.

Major Sok Narith, Poipet city deputy police chief, said that Mr Savorn got to know the victim through Facebook in 2014 when he was still a monk.

He noted that after chatting with each other on Facebook messenger, they formed a relationship and promised to marry when the accused left the monkhood.

Maj Narith said that after forming a relationship, Mr Savorn used money he collected from alms to help Ms Phalla start her own business last year as a Wing outlet operator in Poipet city.

He noted that in August this year, Ms Phalla broke off their relationship after she began an affair with another man in the city.

Maj Narith said that on Saturday, Mr Savorn phoned the victim to meet at a quiet spot in the commune to discuss their breakup.

He noted that Ms Phalla drove to the meeting point in her own car, while the accused took a taxi there.

Maj Narith said that when the victim arrived, Mr Savorn got into the car and asked her why she broke up with him.

He said that Ms Phalla told the accused that she started seeing another man because he did not keep his promise to leave the monkhood and marry her.

“He was angry with her for betraying him and having an affair with another man,” Maj Narith said. “He then took out a chisel from inside his robe and stabbed her several times on the throat and stomach, causing serious injuries.”

Maj Narith noted that while Mr Savorn and Ms Phalla were arguing in the car, police on patrol saw them and became suspicious because a monk is not supposed to be alone with a woman.

He added that the officers then kept watch from a distance.

Maj Narith said that while Mr Savorn was stabbing her, Ms Phalla screamed and the policemen ran to the spot to intervene.

He added that when the accused saw them, he tried to flee but was surrounded and caught. Police recovered the chisel and a phone from him.

Maj Narith noted that police found Ms Phalla unconscious in the car and sent her to the provincial referral hospital for treatment.

He said that because her injuries were serious, her family sent her to a hospital in Thailand where she remains in critical condition.

Maj Narith noted that after his arrest, police took the accused to the provincial cults and religion department where he was defrocked.

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