State of Cambodia (SOC) Prime Minister Hun Sen is determined to curb politically
motivated violence in the country, according to remarks made by SOC spokesman Khieu
Kanharith at a briefing on Feb. 9.
Hun Sen's commitment follows numerous accusations made by political party members
that SOC authorities are behind the spate of assasinations and intimidation that
has occurred in recent months resulting in the deaths of numerous FUNCINPEC and BLDP
party members among others.
"Now he has decided to take on the case personally," said Kanharith.
Hun Sen will visit some provinces "to fact find for himself" and to give
strict orders to local officials to provide security to all political party offices,
said Kanharith. "Sometimes we can not trust 100 percent the reports by the people
there. The political violence is not our policy. We are trying to do everything to
create a neutral political environment," Kanharith stressed.
With regard to two cases of suspected criminals detained by UNTAC but who the SOC
ministry of Justice refused to hear the cases, UNTAC has proposed to bring in a foreign
lawyer who would act as a legal advisor for the court proceedings. Kanharith noted
that, "The idea seems to be acceptable," adding that "the advisor
can help the judge at all stages except taking dicisions."
"We will do everything possible to allow UNTAC to transfer the competence of
the court from the province to the Phnom Penh court. But we also proposed that UNTAC
must not generalize this practice," Kanharith said.