Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Chakrapong says he's innocent

Chakrapong says he's innocent

Chakrapong says he's innocent

PARIS -After nearly three years of silence, Prince Norodom Chakra-pong, in exile

in France, has finally spoken out about his banishment from the Kingdom, upcoming

elections, the Khmer Rouge and internal politics within CPP.

Prince Chakrapong, a son of the King and a half-brother to Prince Ranariddh, who

was exiled in July 1994, for allegedly masterminding a military coup, spoke freely

with the Post in rare interviews, January 15 and February 1.

The prince in a frustrated and combative mood talked openly for three hours in his

simply furnished and transient flat in a working class suburb on the outskirts of

Paris.

On the way from the 'Creteil-Prefecture' tube station near his flat the prince re-iterated

his claims that he was innocent of the coup charges.

"If I had been taking part in the coup, I would not have been in my room at

that time. I would have been hiding in the provinces with the men, not sleeping peacefully,"

he argued.

In the hall of his apartment block the prince's basic letter-box carries the royal

name of Norodom but it marks the entry to a life well below royal standards, apparently

shared only with his daughter.

The prince, a man who seems to have held his silence for too long, spoke of his anger

after years in exile.

As a former member of the CPP politburo, he was sacked from the party for his role

in the coup, and now talks in detail about the divisions he said exist in the party

between Hun Sen and more moderate CPP members.

Chakrapong claims Hun Sen has minority support within the party, but rules by presenting

his party colleagues with 'fait accompli' decisions. He said CPP president Chea Sim

avoids a split within the party by pouring oil on troubled waters.

He said he believes royalist and opposition parties could win upcoming elections

if they maintain their unity and isolate Hun Sen.

The prince claims the pardon for Ieng Sary makes a mockery of Cambodian justice as

he says he, prince Sirivudh and Sin Song are being denied an amnesty for far lesser

or non existent crimes.

The interview was punctuated by the prince making cups of tea, receiving faxes from

Phnom Penh and his calls to be allowed to return to his motherland.

"Three years is a long time to be away from my country," he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Forest Harmony’s $18M luxury villas break ground in Kampot

    Local and French joint-venture Forest Harmony has broken ground on its $18 million “second-home” Luxury Holiday Villas project in Kampot province. Century 21 Mekong CEO and local shareholder of the project Chrek Soknim told The Post that the project will comprise 90 villa units covering 18ha on a 97

  • US, Cambodia pledge to strengthen military ties

    The US on Tuesday pledged to help train military officers, particularly Cambodia’s blue helmet troops deployed for UN’s peacekeeping operations. The pledge was made during a meeting between US ambassador Patrick Murphy and Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) commander-in-chief General Vong Pisen. Further

  • Rights Day forum denied in Sihanoukville

    The Preah Sihanouk provincial administration last Saturday denied the request of land communities for a public location in the province to celebrate International Human Rights Day 2019 as the administration had already held forums to discuss land issues. However, the land community representatives said they would

  • Sokha lodges an appeal over treason case reaching court

    Kem Sokha, the president of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), has appealed against the decision to send his treason case to trial. Sokha’s legal team said their client was not satisfied with the decision of a Phnom Penh Municipal Court investigating

  • Gov’t approves $9B worth of building projects in 2019

    The government has approved more than $9 billion this year for capital investment in the construction sector, a nearly 80 per cent increase on last year, with most of the growth coming from projects in Sihanoukville, according to Minister of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction Chea

  • King rescinds oknha honorific of 46 National Police officials

    The oknha titles of 46 National Police officials with the rank of general, as well as senior officials in the ministries of Interior and National Defence, will be withdrawn following a royal decree from King Norodom Sihamoni. National Police spokesman Chhay Kim Khoeun told The Post