The opposition Sam Rainsy Party has written a letter to King Nordom Sihamoni asking that party leader Sam Rainsy, who now lives abroad to avoid a lengthy jail term handed down against him last year, be granted a Royal pardon.
Last week, National Assembly President Heng Samrin formally stripped Sam Rainsy of his parliamentary status in connection with his criminal convictions. In a letter dated Friday, however, 24 SRP lawmakers called on the King to pardon Sam Rainsy and pave the way for his return to politics.
“His Excellency Sam Rainsy was sentenced unjustly because of his work to serve the people and the nation, and there is no reason for him to be punished like this,” the letter states.
Earlier this month, the Supreme Court upheld Sam Rainsy’s conviction last year for incitement and destruction of public property in connection with a protest he staged on the Vietnamese border in 2009. He was later sentenced to 10 years in prison for disinformation and falsifying public documents following his attempts from abroad to vindicate his claims of Vietnamese encroachment.