Khmer Krom: Monks sentenced to Prison Time
Photo Credit: Pha Lina
Khmer Krom monks Dav Tep and Chea Vanda were sentenced on Friday 1 April to 2 years and 3 months respectively. They were arrested and defrocked on 1 August 2015, following dubious allegations that have since been undermined by the alleger himself, who claimed he tried to withdraw his complaint, but was forced to sign it by the authorities. Although a few of the charges were dropped, the monks maintain their innocence and it is hoped the court will review the case.
Below is an article published by the Phnom Penh Post:
Two Khmer Krom monks, arrested and defrocked last August after being charged with drug possession, attempted murder and forgery, were sentenced on Friday.(1 April)
Dav Tep and Chea Vanda were arrested after police searched their lodgings in a Por Sen Chey district pagoda and allegedly found women’s underwear, weapons, condoms and drugs.
The search was prompted by allegations that the pair had made death threats against a student then staying at the pagoda.
The student later said the authorities had forced him to make the complaint against the monks and asked to withdraw it.
On Friday, Tep was sentenced to two years in jail for charges of attempted murder and possession of drugs, said defence lawyer Ham Sunrith, who was hired by the Centre for Alliance of Labor and Human Rights. The forgery charge was dropped.
“I think the court should review this case,” Sunrith said.
Vanda’s attempted murder and drug possession charges were dropped, Sunrith said. The forgery charge was changed to using Buddhist clothes without permission, for which he was sentenced to three months in jail.