Activist monk But Buntenh seen speaking at an event last year in a photo posted on his Facebook page.
Activist monk But Buntenh seen speaking at an event last year in a photo posted on his Facebook page. Facebook

Monk skips hearing on stupa funds

As promised, activist monk But Buntenh declined to return to Phnom Penh for a court hearing yesterday, with the prosecutor warning that the court may issue an arrest warrant.

Buntenh was summonsed over a suit alleging he, media observer Pa Nguon Teang and labour rights activist Moeun Tola misappropriated funds intended for murdered political analyst Kem Ley’s funeral stupa.

The suit was filed by Pich Sros, president of the Cambodian Youth Party, after Buntenh accused Sros of the same crime.

Buntenh previously told The Post he would not attend the hearing because he does not believe “in the state institutions, such as the court”.

Both Nguon Teang and Tola requested delays to their hearings on Monday. How-ever, Buntenh, abroad in the US, skipped court without requesting a delay, according to Phnom Penh Municipal Court Prosecutor Kuch Kimlong.

“If necessary, we can issue [a warrant] to bring him here. Frankly speaking, those who don’t come, [warrants] can be issued for them,” said Kimlong.

Buntenh is expected back in the Kingdom in November.