Daun Penh district police said on Thursday that the authorities are questioning a 31-year-old man who was arrested for throwing a stone at the house of Prime Minister Hun Sen in the capital’s Chaktomuk commune.
District police chief Tieng Chansa identified the man as Rom Piseth. He is said to have thrown the stone on Thursday morning.
“The authorities will take the necessary legal action against him,” said Chansa.
Lieutenant General Dy Vichea, National Police deputy chief and the Ministry of Interior’s central security department director, said the suspect is mentally ill.
He asked for money for treatment from his mother but she refused so he threw a stone at the Prime Minister’s house to ask Hun Sen to take him to the hospital, said Vichea.
However, Chaktomuk commune police chief Chuob Sokun rebuffed claims of mental illness, saying that the suspect is a teacher at the Mith Samlanh organisation.
“There is no document that proves he is mentally ill. That being said, I don’t know why he did that to the Prime Minister’s house,” said Sokun.
Piseth’s mother, Hean Tieng, said on Thursday that her son had suffered mental illness in 2017. He recovered the following year, which allowed him to return to work. But his illness recurred two months ago.
“He has a mental illness. He has been ill for two to three years but can function normally when he takes his medicine. But he has relapses from time to time.
“We have a medical certificate from the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital to prove this,” she said.
The authorities, she said,informed her that they will send Piseth to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court.
“I came to see him and gave him some rice. They said they will send him to court. I don’t know what to do but wherever they send my son, I will go there too,” she said, as she pleaded for her son to be released.
Piseth is the eldest among six siblings. Tieng said he stayed with a friend, who was their neighbour in Takhmao town, Kandal province. He always talked to himself and travelled alone from Takhmao to Phnom Penh.
Tieng recounted that before the incident, her son asked for $300-$500 so he could go to Thailand’s Surin province and seek medical assistance for his ailment.
The suspect, said Tieng, had also said he wanted to meet the Prime Minister, whom he referred to as the “dragon”.
Tieng said: “From what he told me, he said he wanted to meet the Prime Minister because he thought that he was the ‘dragon’. He always went to ask permission [from the guards in Hun Sen’s house] but they never allowed him to see the prime minister.
“I am very sad and regret my son’s actions. I appeal to the Prime Minister to please release my son. He is a graduate and has a job but whenever his illness recurs, I can’t control his actions.”