Mondulkiri provincial police are questioning a former monk for stabbing another to death after a verbal dispute at a pagoda in Pou Chrei commune, Pech Chreada district, on Tuesday.
Provincial police chief Lor Sokha said on Wednesday that police will send him to court on Thursday.
“The former monk would be jailed for at least 10 to 20 years because it is a murder case. We charged him with premeditated murder, but we don’t know how the court will see it,” he said.
Pech Chreada district police sent the former monk to the Mondulkiri provincial police station to be processed.
District police chief Tak Yen said before the attack, the victim, 24-year-old Thlang Vuth, had been joking with the suspect. The tone changed when Vuth told the suspect that it looked as though he was using drugs. A fight ensued, leaving Vuth dead. Both men are from Kampong Cham province.
“My specialists have already questioned and tested the suspect. He is not a drug addict,” Yen said.
Pou Chrei commune police chief Yan Sani said Yuth died on the way to the Mondulkiri referral hospital from knife wounds to the stomach, chest, and armpit.
A 24-year-old monk who stays at the pagoda and asked to remain anonymous, said on Monday that Yuth and the suspect were joking with each other, but Yuth said the suspect looked like a drug addict, he got furious and spoke loudly.
He said he heard a scream for help at 9am on Tuesday and was shocked to see Yuth on the ground, covered in blood. He was then rushed to the provincial hospital.
“After that, the authorities and the Mondulkiri chief monk came to investigate. The provincial chief monk defrocked the offending monk and handed him to the authorities. I was nearby too while they were talking loudly, but I did not dare to stop them,” he said.