>Hun Sen threatens to send Ranariddh to jail

>Hun Sen (left) and Ranariddh (right).

By Leang Delux
Cambodge Soir Hebdo

Translated from French by Luc Sâr
Courtesy of Ki-Media

According to Hun Sen, “pardon is no longer possible for Prince Ranariddh.” The prime minister declared last weekend “that the prince will be handcuffed as soon as he sets feet in Cambodia.”

The controversy which is taking place between the two political leaders is becoming worst in the last few days. For the prince, Hun Sen influences the court decision, and he wants to prevent Ranariddh’s return to Cambodia. Furthermore, the prince believes that he can ask for the royal pardon without asking anybody else. But, according to Hun Sen, this royal favor must go through him first, otherwise, “the prince can only accept the court verdict.”

To believe Hun Sen, there is no smoke without fire: “the prince’s attacks against me are frequent.” Furthermore, the prince’s wife [Ouk Phalla] would have badmouthed Hun Sen in private. Hun Sen indicated that he learnt about this issue through his intelligence services. Hun Sen continued to criticize Norodom Ranariddh: “I want to bet with my (good) eye … When the royalists were united inside the same party, they couldn’t fight me. Now that they are divided … Let me apologize to King-Father, Queen-Mother and the King, but, this time, there will be no indulgence from me anymore. Even if he is elected, he will be arrested before he can benefit from his (parliamentary) immunity,” Hun Sen said in anger.

According to Sok Sam Oeun, the prince’s defense lawyer, if the Supreme court decided to uphold the verdict handed down by the Appeal court, the verdict will become effective immediately. “But it could decide to send the case back to the Appeal court for a revision on the judgment. This will take more time,” Sok Sam Oeun explained, while indicating that his client’s hearing will not take place before the election. “The court is taking its time. They do not want the prince to be present (in the country) during the election,” Sok Sam Oeun said.

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