Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday charged a Norwegian tourist with property damage over his destruction of a CPP sign depicting Prime Minister Hun Sen and National Assembly president Heng Samrin in Daun Penh district.
Nhim Chantha, an officer with the court, identified the accused as Gisle Reikvar, 50, a Norwegian tourist arrested on Sunday.
Mr Chantha said that Mr Reikvar was charged with intentional property damage and faces six months to two years in jail if convicted.
Mr Chantha added that the accused is still being questioned by the investigative judge.
Bun Vireak, a Daun Penh district police officer, said the suspect got drunk and was walking along a road in Srah Chak commune on Sunday night.
Mr Vireak said that upon arriving at Daun Penh District Hall, the suspect began punching the sign depicting the two government leaders, destroying it completely.
“He got drunk and he smashed the sign of the CPP and destroyed the photos of the Cambodian leaders,” he said. “It caused injuries to his hands and shoulder.”
“After destroying the sign, he fled to hide at a guesthouse in the commune where he was staying,” he added. “He was later arrested at the guesthouse.”
Mr Vireak said that during his interrogation by police, the suspect denied the allegations, claiming he got very drunk and fell into the sign, accidentally breaking it.
He added that in May 2017, the suspect was arrested by district police for involvement with beating another tourist at a restaurant and damaging restaurant property.
Police later released him in that case after he agreed to not commit further violence in Cambodia.