Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Court builds Ranariddh case

Court builds Ranariddh case

Court builds Ranariddh case

A BOUT 20 witnesses including top Funcinpec officials will be summoned to testify

against ousted First Prime Minister Prince Norodom Ranariddh, according to the Chief

Judge of the military court, who predicted the trial would take place in October.

A former military adviser to the prince, Major General Tum Sambol, told journalists

last week that he will be a witness against the prince at the court case if necessary.

"I will do whatever I can for the purpose of national interests," Sambol

said.

The military court issued two arrest warrants in August, accusing Ranariddh of committing

crimes against national security and of illegally importing weapons in Sihanoukville.

Sambol told the press that the prince was guilty on both counts, claiming that even

while he was close to the prince he was unaware of the secret negotiations conducted

by General Nhek Bun Chhay and Ranariddh with the Khmer Rouge in Anlong Veng.

A high ranking Funcinpec official who asked not to be named claimed that Funcinpec

now had no power to oppose the CPP, saying that Funcinpec officials have to follow

the aims of CPP.

"It is too late to oppose CPP ideas. We must follow them, otherwise we will

have to flee the country," the source said. "If the court needs 10 Funcinpec

officials to testify against their former boss we have to send 10, and if they need

20 we have to send 20. How can we say no?"

Ranariddh's trial was supposed to take place this month but officials had been too

busy, according to the military court Chief Judge Ney Thol.

"I don't want the world to keep waiting for this trial any longer. I wanted

to hold the trial this month but it was impossible because our court officials are

busy with the Pchum Ben ceremony," Thol said.

Investigating judge Nou Chantha said the process of the investigation is proceeding

steadily but hurdles remained as he wanted to find additional evidence and witnesses

to testify against the prince. Chantha said he didn't expect that the prince's trial

would be held soon.

"This court case is not simple. The Prince is First Prime Minister so we cannot

joke around with it. We have to go over it carefully and independently," the

judge said.

Both Ney Thol and Nou Chantha maintained strongly that their military court is independent

even though the court had been set up by the former government.

"As we are an independent court, we have to proceed with a very lengthy and

independent investigation even if we face difficulties because the prince's trial

needs to be researched more properly in order to document and collect the real evidence

and witnesses for a fair trial," Judge Nou Chantha said.

Around 20 witnesses will be presented at the trial: 10 to testify against the prince

on the importing illegal weapons charge and another 10 for the charge of damaging

national security, according to Ney Thol.

In a separate legal tussle, BLDP founder Son Sann lost a court case to Information

Minister Ieng Mouly on the question of using the party's logo at a hearing at the

Municipal Court Sept 10.

Member of Parliament Thach Reng, a long-time BLDP member, referred to Mouly as "a

child of the younger generation" [someone who had been helped by an elder but

did not return the respect] and said he was not surprised by the court's ruling.

"I am very happy the judge of the municipal court decided our side lost. Because

through this unfair trial it can show people more clearly about the lack of independence

of the courts in Cambodia," Reng said.

Son Sann has two months to file an appeal. But Reng said he will wait until the 59th

day before filing the appeal as a means of preventing Mouly from using the logo for

as long as possible. "This court case will not be finished easily. The dispute

will take years," said Reng, adding that he could still use the logo until the

case was settled.

MOST VIEWED

  • Time to avert disastrous Covid situation: officials

    The Covid-19 situation in Cambodia is heading towards further large-scale community transmission as the total number of confirmed cases is nearing 61,000 and the death toll passed 900 on July 10, senior health officials warned. Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine expressed concern that the country was going

  • Two luxury hotels latest quarantine options for inbound travellers

    The Inter-Ministerial Committee to Combat Covid-19 has designated two luxury hotels as alternative quarantine options for travellers who wish to enter Cambodia through Phnom Penh International Airport – Sokha Phnom Penh Hotel & Residence and the Courtyard by Marriott Phnom Penh. In a notice detailing guidelines issued

  • Visa A holders get to quarantine at Himawari Hotel

    The Ministry of Health has permitted foreign diplomats, UN and International NGO officials to undergo quarantine at Himawari Hotel in the capital in case they do not have a separate place suitable for this purpose, but the government would not be responsible for the expenses.

  • Baby saved as mother is lost to Covid

    Newborn baby Neth David has had a rough start in the world. His mother, Vong Daneth, was seven months pregnant when she contracted a severe case of Covid-19. When it became clear to her doctors that she would not survive, they performed a cesarean section

  • Jabs for kids bring hope for school reopenings

    Cambodia is tentatively planning to reopen schools – at least at the secondary level – when the vaccination of children aged 12-17 is completed, even though daily transmissions and deaths in other age groups remain high. Schools across the country have been suspended since March 20, one month

  • Hun Sen: Get 12-17 age group ready for Covid jabs

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has told parents of children aged 12-17 in Phnom Penh and the provinces of Kandal and Preah Sihanouk to get them ready for vaccinations soon. “There is a need to vaccinate children and youths aged 12 to 17. According to the statistics provided