An article in last Friday’s edition of The Phnom Penh Post regarding the case of Mam Sonando suggests a link between a newly approved aid package from France to Cambodia and the release of Mam Sonando.
I would like to clarify this point to avoid any misunderstanding among, and beyond, the Post’s readership.
First, it is correct that the representative of the French embassy who was present at the Court of Appeal declined to comment on the verdict when asked by a Post reporter last Thursday.
But had the question of a possible link between the verdict and the recently announced aid package been raised, the French embassy would have firmly denied any connection between those two events.
Second, as was explained to the Post when it asked about the exact figure of the pledge made last week, and whether that amount was “unprecedented”, this new aid package is the result of a decision taken by the French Agency for Development back in 2012.
It is therefore not related whatsoever to the decision that was handed down last Thursday by the Court of Appeal.
French ambassador to Cambodia