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Senator freed after royal pardon

Khuon Narim / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Hong Sok Hour. KT/Mai Vireak

King Norodom Sihamoni yesterday granted a royal pardon to former opposition senator Hong Sok Hour who was serving a seven-year prison sentence for forging a border map with Vietnam.

The fake map of the 1979 Cambodia-Vietnam border treaty was posted on Mr Sok Hour’s Facebook page in 2015.

He was later charged with using forged public documents and inciting unrest.

The King pardoned Mr Sok Hour, 59, in a Royal Decree requested by Prime Minister Hun Sen.

“Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Decho Hun Sen, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, is responsible to implement this Royal Decree from the signed date onward,” it read.

Mr Sok Hour was released from Prey Sar prison last night after Phnom Penh Municipal Court issued a warrant to set him free.

“I was surprised. I believe another 15 people will be released,” Mr Sok Hour told reporters from his SUV, with his wife next to him.

Hong Sok Hour speaks after his release from Prey Sar prison where he was detained for forgery. KT/Mai Vireak

Mr Sok Hour was arrested on August 15, 2015, after posting on Facebook a section of the 1979 Cambodia-Vietnam border treaty, which claimed the two nations had agreed to dissolve their mutual border.

The jailed senator sent a letter to Prime Minister Hun Sen on September 8 to acknowledge his mistakes and request a pardon so he could seek medical treatment in France.

“I regret affecting Samdech’s politics in the process of border demarcation and I posted incorrect documents on the border issue which caused public misunderstanding,” he wrote.

“I will be careful and this matter will not occur again,” he added. Mr Sok Hour was previously a senator for
the opposition Sam Rainsy Party.

Former CNRP president Sam Rainsy and two of his assistants, all of whom are living abroad, were also convicted for forging public documents over the same Cambodia-Vietnam border treaty.

CPP spokesman Sok Eysan said Mr Hun Sen loved all Cambodian people, despite their political differences.

“His Excellency Hong Sok Hour acknowledged his mistakes so Samdech requested a pardon from the King,” Mr Eysan said.

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