Senate Official Arrested at PM’s Villa After Demanding Meeting

A Senate official was briefly detained on Saturday after he parked his car outside Prime Minister Hun Sen’s villa in Phnom Penh and began honking his horn to demand a discussion about how to prevent “World War III,” police and officials said Sunday.

Eang Borith, a 32-year-old CPP official who serves as the deputy secretary-general of the Senate’s commission on foreign affairs, was arrested by police stationed outside Mr. Hun Sen’s home after he refused to move on, said Daun Penh district governor Kouch Chamroeun.

“The man drove his car and then stopped it in front of the residence of Prime Minister Hun Sen, and pressed a few times on the horn and called out to Samdech [Mr. Hun Sen] because he wanted to discuss the state of the nation,” Mr. Chamroeun said.

“We questioned the man, but I do not understand what he wanted because he spoke unreasonably,” he added. “He told me that he wanted to talk with Samdech Hun Sen to find ways for prevention, because World War III would happen soon.”

“I think the man is likely a mental case because his speech was unreasonable,” Mr. Chamroeun said.

Municipal police chief Chuon Sovann said Mr. Borith was released from custody after questioning because police were satisfied that his irregular request for dialogue was not a threat to Mr. Hun Sen.

“We let him return home because we checked with his family and they gave us medical documents to prove that he has had a long battle with mental illness,” Mr. Sovann said. “I handed him and his car over to his family and told them to take care of him properly.”

Mr. Borith’s family then took him for treatment at a medical facility in Phnom Penh, he added.

Oum Sarith, the secretary-general of the Senate, said Mr. Borith occasionally suffered from flare-ups of a mental problem that likely started during treatment for a stomach illness.

“Mr. Borith took a lot of medicine during his two years of treatment and now has become a mental case,” he said.

He added that it was unclear whether Mr. Borith would return to work at the Senate.

“It depends on his health, whether he can go to work or not.”

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