Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - PM vows no pardons for convicted politicians

PM vows no pardons for convicted politicians

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Prime Minister Hun Sen speaking on the commemoration of International Women’s Day on March 8, held one day early at the Peace Palace in Phnom Penh. SPM

PM vows no pardons for convicted politicians

Prime Minister Hun Sen has reiterated that he will not sign any request for pardons from politicians who have been convicted of “criminal offences”.

Procedurally, a request for royal pardon is submitted to the Prime Minister for approval before being referred to the King, he noted.

Speaking on the commemoration of International Women’s Day on March 8, held one day early at the Peace Palace in Phnom Penh, Hun Sen said there were groups who “insulted” his late sister-in-law Bun Sotha, his wife Bun Rany and his family.

Sotha, the younger sister of Bun Rany, passed away due to an illness in early February at the age of 67.

At the March 7 event, which was attended by many foreign diplomats, Hun Sen said that while his wife, himself and the entire family were in mourning, some opposition politicians ignored their sorrow and went on the attack.

Hun Sen asked the foreign ambassadors present whether they would accept it or not if they were in his place or that of his wife. He also said that governing the state must not be based on emotions, but the rule of law.

“So, sometimes you [envoys] say that Hun Sen is dictatorial and likes to respond to this or that person, but in this case if you have read their comments, you would see they had attacked the dead. So, why did they speak ill of the dead like this?” he asked rhetorically.

Procedurally, convicts can request a pardon from the King through the prime minister, who decides whether to first approve and refer it to the King. But Hun Sen said that for the aforementioned cases, no request would be approved.

“Therefore, I declare I won’t sign any pardon requests for politicians who commit criminal offences. I do not forgive them. There is no understanding that could possibly be come to. If I forgive them, that means I am as low as an animal. I cannot do it. Please do not imagine that Hun Sen will use his pen to sign any pardon for this person or that person,” he said, without naming anyone specifically.

Yang Peou, secretary-general of the Royal Academy of Cambodia, said a convict would only need a pardon if they were facing a serious criminal penalty, which means that their crime was serious and one that endangers society. Therefore, obtaining a pardon is actually difficult not only for politicians, but also for ordinary people.

“As the prime minister has pointed out, if they have committed crime, it’s difficult to justify a pardon. If we’re speaking generally, if some politicians have criminal convictions and sentences due to their political activities, they might be pardoned if there is any change in the political situation or some change in circumstances,” he told The Post.


  • Joy as Koh Ker Temple registered by UNESCO

    Cambodia's Koh Ker Temple archaeological site has been officially added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List, during the 45th session of the World Heritage Committee held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on September 17. The ancient temple, also known as Lingapura or Chok Gargyar, is located in

  • Famed US collector family return artefacts to Cambodia

    In the latest repatriation of ancient artefacts from the US, a total of 33 pieces of Khmer cultural heritage will soon return home, according to the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts. In a September 12 press statement, it said the US Attorney’s Office for the

  • Tina rebuffs ‘false claims’ over falling paddy price

    Agriculture minister Dith Tina has shed light on the trade of paddy rice in Battambang – Cambodia’s leading rice-producing province – in a bid to curb what he dubs a “social media fact distortion campaign” to destabilise the market. While acknowledging that the prices of paddy

  • Cambodia set to celebrate Koh Ker UNESCO listing

    To celebrate the inscription of the Koh Ker archaeological site on UNESCO’s World Heritage List, the Ministry of Cults and Religion has appealed to pagodas and places of worship to celebrate the achievement by ringing bells, shaking rattles and banging gongs on September 20. Venerable

  • Kampot curfew imposed to curb ‘gang’ violence

    Kampot provincial police have announced measures to contain a recent spike in antisocial behaviour by “unruly’ youth. Officials say the province has been plagued by recent violence among so-called “gang members”, who often fight with weapons such as knives and machetes. Several social observers have

  • PM outlines plans to discuss trade, policy during US visit

    Prime Minister Hun Manet is set to meet with senior US officials and business leaders during his upcoming visit to the US for the UN General Assembly (UNGA), scheduled for September 20. While addressing nearly 20,000 workers in Kampong Speu province, Manet said he aims to affirm