A French national was arrested by Phnom Penh authorities on Tuesday night after he allegedly stabbed a Cambodian man believed to be involved in a love triangle with the Frenchman and his Cambodian girlfriend.
Phsar Kandal I commune police chief Nou Touch said the suspect has been identified as 65-year-old Jean Claude Savona.
Savona, who lives with Cambodian woman Saem Ith, allegedly stabbed 31-year-old Oun Touch on Tuesday night after he attempted to extort US$700 from Saem Ith in return for not telling Saem Ith’s family that she was living with a foreigner.
When Saem Ith refused to pay, Oun Touch slapped her and the two proceeded to quarrel, at which point the Frenchman stabbed Oun Touch in the stomach, the commune police chief explained.
Oun Touch told authorities that Saem Ith was his wife, but Saem Ith maintained the two had only dated.
Hy Prou, deputy police chief of Phnom Penh’s foreign crimes office, confirmed that the Frenchman was in custody and under investigation.
The police chief also said Savona had admitted to stabbing Oun Touch, but said he acted to protect Saem Ith.
Saem Ith reported that this was the second time Oun Touch had tried to extort money from her, the police chief added. Previously, he had asked for $200 and she obliged because the two used to date.
“The victim admitted that he picked a fight at the house of the French national, which is why we consider it to be the fault of the victim,” he added.