King Norodom Sihamoni has issued a royal decree to officially allow for pardons and sentence reductions for prisoners during two more events.
The new events, included in the decree declared on Monday, are Victory Day over genocide and Independence Day.
The previous other days are Khmer New Year, Vesak Day and Water Festival Days.
The royal decree mentioned that sentence reduction can also be applied for humanitarian reasons for elderly prisoners, pregnant women, or those with severe chronic illness, mental illness, or disability which are certified by a doctor recognised by the competent authorities.
The conditions for sentence reduction as defined in Article 5 of the royal decree are as follows.
Those who have served two-thirds of their sentence can apply for pardons while those who have served one-third can seek sentence reductions.
The decree also allows for clemency applications from prisoners who have reformed and are striving to turn over a new lead; are model prisoners who obey rules; and participate actively and regularly in education programmes, vocational training and integration programmes .
Kim Santepheap, a secretary of state and spokesman of Ministry of Justice, told Khmer Times yesterday, they will look out for any prisoners who reform.
“It is a chance for prisoners to correct themselves and ask to be allowed to be released earlier,” he said.
The Ministry of Justice has announced that, despite the challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic, courts have cleared a backlog of more than 35,000 or 89 percent of the criminal cases within 222 days of a nationwide campaign to do so.
The campaign, which is expected to conclude in six months, has now been expanded for up to one year. The official conclusion of the campaign will be on May 17.
The campaign committee lauded judges, prosecutors, court clerks, court officials and relevant institutions for the backlog clearance to serve the people’s interest and promote justice.