An abbot is due before Phnom Penh Municipal Court this morning to face questions over accusations that renovations to his Chroy Changvar pagoda are illegal.
Tin Sarom said yesterday that he would comply with the summons but that he was bemused as to why it had been issued, saying he was given permission for the alterations to Prek Liep commune’s Wat Khtor last year.
He furnished an authorisation letter signed and stamped by commune chief Preap Mony, chief layman of the pagoda committee Kim Vanthorn and director of the Municipal Department of Religion Phaon Davy dated September 9, 2015.
However, a complaint by local residents has been taken up by deputy prosecutor Keo Socheat, who on August 4 issued the summons calling Sarom for questioning after “destroying” the pagoda’s living quarters.
Prek Liep resident So Sarath, 45, said yesterday that she was in favour of the pagoda’s refurbishment but was displeased that it was not in keeping with the previous building’s style.
“We support the construction of a huge monastery for monks and poor people pursuing their studies in Phnom Penh,” she said. “But we should renovate it in the old style”.