Five Monks Summoned to Court Over Pagoda Attack

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court has summoned five monks from the city’s restive Samakki Raingsey pagoda for questioning over a complaint filed last month by a fellow monk who accused them of violently attacking him.

The complainant, Sot Chaya, claims that acting chief monk Thach Ha Sam Ang ordered four monks to attack him and six other monks with knives and rocks over a pagoda dispute in January.

Thach Vanna, one of the summoned monks, said the letter, signed by deputy prosecutor Ky Bunnara, instructs him to appear for questioning at the municipal court on Wednesday.

Thach Vanna said the other accused monks were Liv Neng, Thach Den and Liv Noeu.

“We are not concerned about this complaint because we have done nothing wrong,” he said.

Thach Vanna said the monks would boycott their questioning session because they believed the summonses were invalid, as they contained multiple misspellings and other errors.

He added that unnamed Vietnamese people were likely behind the complaint.

“It must be Yuon behind him because our pagoda always stands up and fights against Yuon, therefore they wanted to get rid of the pagoda,” he said, using a term for Vietnamese people that can be derogatory in some contexts.

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