Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Focus first on clearing criminal cases in prisons, says Sar Kheng



Focus first on clearing criminal cases in prisons, says Sar Kheng

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Sar Kheng said the issue of prison overcrowding is complicated, especially for drug offences. Sar Kheng via Facebook

Focus first on clearing criminal cases in prisons, says Sar Kheng

Interior Minister Sar Kheng said on Monday the government must prioritise cleaning up the backlog of criminal court cases in Cambodia with a focus on those already in prison.

He said he was concerned the issue of prison overcrowding cannot be solved until the backlog of legal files is cleared. He said he is not in a rush to tackle cases of suspects on bail.

The comments came at a ceremony introducing the new General Department of Prisons director at the Interior Ministry.

Sar Kheng said the issue of prison overcrowding is complicated, especially for drug offences. He said Minister of Justice Koeut Rith should consider rooting out the cause behind too many prisoners.

“Can clearing old cases decrease the number of people in prisons? The answer is not really because there are cases of suspects on bail. It does not help a lot.

“I reminded Rith several days ago to consider the cases of people in prisons first before considering those on bail,” said Sar Kheng.

He said he believes Rith will be able to tackle the issue successfully.

“If the prisons are suddenly full, it will be very complicated to solve. It is unavoidable to build more prisons. Meanwhile, there are 40,000 prisoners among 16 million people in Cambodia.

“If we build more prisons the number will increase to 50,000 or 60,000 people. It means that there are many people committing offences. People will say the police are incapable,” Sar Kheng said.

In May, the Ministry of Justice put forward a plan to tackle backlogged cases, reduce prison overcrowding and strengthen the capacity of the judiciary.

Ministry spokesman Chin Malin told The Post on Monday it is about tackling the issue of backlogged cases, which means they will tackle all cases regardless of whether the people are in prison or out on bail.

“The goal is to solve all problems. If backlogged cases decrease, especially cases with suspects in prison, the issue of prison overcrowding can be solved too.

“What [Sar Kheng] has mentioned is in the line with the work we are doing and we will put more effort into doing it,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Municipal hall releases map detailing colour coded Covid risks by commune

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng released an official map detailing the red, yellow and dark yellow zones within the city under the new lockdown orders for Phnom Penh announced on April 26. The designation of red, dark yellow and yellow corresponds to areas with high,

  • Inter-provincial travel ban lifted; Phnom Penh and Takmao not exempted

    The government on April 25 decided to lift the inter-provincial travel ban and the closure of tourist attractions across the country, effectively immediately. The travel ban and closures of all resorts were imposed on April 6 and 17 respectively in a bid to curb the spread of Covid-19,

  • Phnom Penh, Takmao lockdown extended for another week

    The government late on April 26 announced an extension of lockdown in Phnom Penh and adjacent Takmao town in Kandal province for another seven days – or longer if residents do not comply with Covid-19 preventive measures and the community outbreak does not subside – until May 5. According

  • Gov't mulls extension of Phnom Penh, Takmao lockdown

    The Inter-ministerial National Commission for the Control and Enforcement of Lockdown held a video conference meeting on April 25 to review a draft document on the extension of lockdown in Phnom Penh and adjacent Kandal province’s Takmao town. The meeting was chaired by Minister of

  • Phnom Penh unveils rules for post-lockdown transition

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration issued a set of detailed guidelines for the seven days to May 12 after the capital emerges from lockdown at the onset of May 6. In the 14-page document signed by municipal governor Khuong Sreng released on the evening of May 5, the

  • Gov’t issues guidelines as lockdown nears end

    The government has issued a five-page set of instructions to be enforced when the three-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Takmao town in Kandal province ends on May 6. According to an announcement signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 4, the instructions cover a