Court Charges Defrocked Monk Over Sihanoukville Crash

A 16-year-old monk who injured four people during a brief joyride in a superior’s SUV has been charged with driving without a license and reckless driving causing injury, an official said yesterday.

The Preah Sihanouk Provincial Court leveled the charges on Wednesday against Yu Sothi, who is now awaiting trial in the provincial prison, said Nop Saroeun, a provincial traffic police officer.

Sothi, who was defrocked after the incident, drove an SUV owned by Den Makara, the senior monk at the Phnom Touch pagoda in Kompong Speu province, police said.

He smashed into two motorbikes and injured four people in the brief, high-speed drive on Monday night in Sihanoukville, according to Prum Pov, provincial traffic police chief.

Three Indonesian men injured on one of the motorbikes withdrew the complaint they had filed against Sothi on Wednesday as they “seem to be understanding and their injuries are getting better,” said Kep Sopheak, deputy provincial traffic police chief.

A Cambodian man on the other motorbike is pursuing his claim, Mr. Saroeun said.

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