Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Battambang, Tbong Khmum courts to be finished this year

Battambang, Tbong Khmum courts to be finished this year

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The appeal court in Phnom Penh. Justice Ministry spokesman said the two regional courts in the east and west of the country would be finished ahead of schedule. Post Pix

Battambang, Tbong Khmum courts to be finished this year

The construction of two appeal courts in Battambang and Tbong Khmum provinces will be completed by the end of this year, a senior government official said on Tuesday.

Ministry of Justice spokesman Chin Malin said on Tuesday that the two regional courts in the east and west of the country would be finished ahead of schedule but more time was needed before they would be able to conduct hearings.

“What we need to do further includes the organisation of human resources, to find judges, prosecutors, court clerks and administration officials to work at these regional appeal courts. We also need to prepare legal provisions, so we need more time,” Malin said.

The government, he said, was footing the cost of the new courts.

On Tuesday, Be Tea Leng, the deputy director of the Ministry of Interior’s General Department of Prisons, said 1,050 prisoners held in the Kingdom’s jails, including 175 women, had appeals pending at the Appeal and Supreme courts.

He said in February that there were around 31,400 prisoners incarcerated across the country.

Malin said the government was creating the regional appeal courts to reduce the backlog of cases to be heard at Phnom Penh’s Appeal Court and to provide judicial services closer to people living outside the capital.

“They will also reduce overcrowding in prisons by way of speeding up trial procedures. When the trial procedure is quicker, it leads to quicker rulings and cases going onto the next step, such as pardons [from the King] for prisoners who had been rehabilitated."

“When we have quicker procedures, it could be that some cases do not require the convicted to serve a prison term and their sentences could be suspended. There could also be some cases where the court finds a person innocent and orders him released,” he said.

Rights group Adhoc spokesman Soeung Sen Karuna welcomed the establishment of the regional appeal courts and urged the government to quickly complete their construction and have them ready to hear cases.

He said only having a single appeal court in the capital to deal with cases across the country led to certain problems, including a backlog of cases leading to delays, possible violations of legal procedure and miscommunication regarding bringing the accused to their hearing in Phnom Penh.

“We want the Ministry of Justice to speed up the establishment of the appeal courts and have them operating as soon as possible so that potential abuses of the rights of the appellant can be avoided."

“We also want to see all appeal courts respond quickly to complaints. These should not be delayed or ignored,” he said.

Hun Seanghak, fair trial rights project coordinator at the Cambodia Centre for Human Rights (CCHR), said civil society groups also wished to see the regional appeal courts in operation.

He said the regional appeal courts would allow the appellant to be present at their hearing, which was one important element in a fair trial.

They would also reduce the time and money spent by families in getting to the Appeal Court in Phnom Penh and by the government in bringing appellants there.

He said he had also known of cases in which the appellant had not been brought to the Appeal Court, meaning the hearing had been delayed.

MOST VIEWED

  • First Cambodian woman graduates from Japan’s NDA military academy

    A few years ago, Meach Sithyka Jessica became the first-ever Cambodian woman to graduate from the US Military Academy at West Point, and since then her courage and determination has served as an inspiration for other Cambodian women. Similarly, Ly Chansocheata became the first Cambodian

  • Construction begins on $1.5B Kampot seaport

    The International Multi-Purpose Logistics and Port Centre, principally invested by Kampot Logistics and Port Co Ltd and projected to cost $1.5 billion, has officially broken ground in Bokor town, Kampot province. The multi-purpose logistics and port centre, located in Prek Tnaot commune, will be built on

  • Cambodia eyes key role in electronics, auto hubs in SEA

    Two roadmaps, part of the LDC’s economic diversification plan, were designed to see it through its migration process, but experts say the journey might be arduous, particularly in the presence of two established hubs in the region By 2028, Cambodia hopes to have exited the

  • Hun Neng, lawmaker and PM’s brother, passes away aged 72

    Hun Neng, chairman of the 4th Commission of the National Assembly, has passed away from heart disease at the age of 72 on the afternoon of May 5, according to the Ministry of Information. Hun Neng is the older brother of Prime Minister Hun Sen, and was

  • CCC team off on US business trip

    The Kingdom’s leading economists and private sector representatives have called on the US to renew its tax preferential status for Cambodian exports, as a Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) delegation departed for a weeklong business visit to the US, where they will meet with

  • PM meets with US business giants

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has met with a number of major US companies who have expressed interest in investing in Cambodia, in a meeting convened by the US-ASEAN Business Council (US-ABC). A delegation of companies – including Amazon, Meta, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Ford, Visa and Pernod