Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Three monks charged with murder

Three monks charged with murder

Three monks charged with murder

Three Buddhist monks were charged yesterday with intentional murder by Kratie Provincial Court for the fatal beating of a young man in Chhlong district’s Kanhchea Pagoda last year, provincial police officials said yesterday.

The monks, aged between 18 and 20, were arrested on Tuesday following a year-long investigation, and accused of clubbing to death 18-year-old Meng Visal on January 1, 2011.

Nhem Thol, Phorn Keang Heng and Sim Sophea were living at the Kanhchea Pagoda, in Kanhchea commune,  as student monks and had ongoing animosity with Visal, a drug addict who often sought refuge at the pagoda.

“The three jointly killed the victim by using a big stick and hitting him on the head, causing him to die in the pagoda,” Chhlong district police chief Major Hong Sokly said.

The suspects had been trying to expel the drug user from the pagoda for months and their actions allegedly escalated into violence as they sought to frighten Visal away, Sokly said. Repeated strikes with the heavy weapon, however, resulted in the victim’s death.

“After killing the victim, they tied him to a big stone and threw him into the river near the pagoda,” Sokly told the Post yesterday.

The corpse was found floating in a neighbouring village the following day.

The three suspects had joined the monkhood at the same pagoda shortly afterwards in an effort to “hide themselves from being arrested by police”, Sokly said.

The mother of the suspect was aware that three student monks at the pagoda had been threatening her son, and the complaint her family filed in the wake of the murder ultimately led police to arrest them, he added.

If found guilty, the three suspects will each face a prison term of at least 15 years for the murder.

Kanhchea pagoda’s chief abbot could not be reached for comment yesterday.

The three accused and their defence lawyers could also not be contacted.

To contact the reporter on this story: Buth Reaksmey Kongkea at [email protected]

MOST VIEWED

  • The hairy little heroes saving many lives in rural Cambodia

    IN RURAL Siem Reap province, rats dare to tread where no person will, as these hairy little heroes place their lives on the line each day for the good of the local community. The rodents are the most important members of a special team, leading

  • Hun Sen’s China visit ‘a good opportunity’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen’s visit to Beijing on Sunday to discuss economic and trade issues presents a good opportunity for the Kingdom to strengthen Chinese ties and counter punitive measures by the West, an analyst says. The prime minister’s four-day official visit to

  • Former chief bodyguard receives royal pardon

    The former chief bodyguard of late Senate president Chea Sim has received a royal pardon nearly eight years after he was sentenced to 15 years behind bars on several charges, according to a royal decree dated November 12, last year, and obtained by The Post on Wednesday.

  • PM warns EU and opposition on 34th anniversary of his rule

    HUN Sen reached the milestone of 34 years as Cambodian prime minister on Monday and used the groundbreaking ceremony for a new ring road around Phnom Penh to tell the international community that putting sanctions on the Kingdom meant killing the opposition. “Please don’t forget