>Hun Sen refuses to approve pardon for Prince Ranariddh

>Hun Sen (L) and Ranariddh (R).

Neth Pheaktra
The Mekong Times

Prime Minister Hun Sen announced yesterday that he will not sign any request for King Norodom Sihamoni to pardon his half brother Prince Norodom Ranariddh, whose conviction for breach of trust was upheld by the Supreme Court last month.
In an oblique reference to Prince Ranariddh, Hun Sen said that he could consider such a request only if the prince has served two-thirds of his jail term.
“If [the prince has been sentenced] to 18 months in jail, [he] must first serve two-thirds of the term,” the premier said.
On July 30 the Supreme Court upheld the Appeals Court’s decision to hand down an 18-month sentence to Prince Ranariddh and ordered him to pay US$150,000 in compensation on charges of breach of trust over the sale of the Funcinpec Party’s headquarters during his time as party president.
In a last-ditch effort to repeal the conviction against the prince, who is currently in self-imposed exile, opposition leaders and Mam Sonando, head of Beehive Radio Station, have written to King Sihamoni to consider pardoning the prince — a move that Hun Sen ridiculed as inappropriate.
“[Although the prince] has not been in jail, [a royal] pardon has been requested,” said Hun Sen. Such a request, he explained, should only come after the prince has completed two-thirds of his jail term, after which the Department of Prisons would report to the Ministry of Justice. The ministry would forward the report to the prime minister, who could then request the King to award a royal pardon.
Hun Sen said royal pardons have been given in the past without keeping to the procedures in a spirit of compromise, but emphasized that such a give and take policy has now come to an end.
According to Article 27 of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia the King “shall have the right to grant partial or complete amnesty.”

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