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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Pardon committee starts to winnow down names

Pardoned prisoners prepare to be released from Phnom Penh’s Prey Sar prison early last year.
Pardoned prisoners prepare to be released from Phnom Penh’s Prey Sar prison early last year. Vireak Mai

Pardon committee starts to winnow down names

The committee for pardons and reduced sentencing is today expected to finalise a list of prisoners recommended for a royal pardon from a total of 560 applications for release or lighter sentences ahead of the Water Festival in early November.

However, despite the recent uproar surrounding the jailings of opposition members and rights workers, prisons department spokesman Sorn Keo said that, of the inmates at the 12 prisons reviewed so far, none were from the opposition.

Justice Ministry spokesman Kim Santepheap, however, noted the committee met yesterday but had not yet assessed the correctional centres in Phnom Penh.

National Assembly President Heng Samrin and opposition lawmaker Eng Chhay Eang signed a letter – leaked to the Post last month – appealing for the pardon of high-profile prisoner Seng Chenda, who was convicted in 2011 of the attempted murder of Transport Minister Sun Chanthol’s wife and daughter in a highly convoluted case.

Santepheap said yesterday that he did not recall if Chenda was on the list.

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