T he cases of 45 inmates, detained at T3 prison without ever going to trial, are
still hanging in the balance after more than 10 years, a report in Khmer
newspaper Reasmei Kampuchea states.
The prisoners, many of whom have been
locked away since the late 1970s when the Hun Sen government took power, cannot
be released until official papers recording their arrests have been
However, a T3 prison official fears the inmates will be left to
rot in jail as no reports on their arrests were ever made official.
believe most of the inmates were charged with some sort of criminal offence and
were then sent to T3 by the provincial and city police during the era of the
State of Cambodia," said the official, who added he did not know whether inmates
had committed petty or serious crimes.
The official told the paper he
believed it was wrong to jail a person without finding out whether they had
committed a crime. The law states that police have the right to detain suspected
offenders for 48 hours, but must have proper evidence and accusing
"I am just waiting for an order from my superiors to release
these people. The only other way they will be set free is by holding a full
"We have spoken to many court officials, who have told us
the court cannot hold trials unless a full investigation is held or proper
documents are produced. The court is the implementer of the law and cannot
interfere in the issue."
The prison official said the government and NGOs
are powerless to act.
Khieu Sameth, direct secretary of the Minister of
Justice , said the prisoners could ask the King for a pardon or a sentence