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Jailed lawmaker Um Sam An plans Hun Sen apology letter

Jailed opposition lawmaker Um Sam An is escorted out of Phnom Penh Supreme Court in August last year.
Jailed opposition lawmaker Um Sam An is escorted out of Phnom Penh Supreme Court in August last year. Heng Chivoan

Jailed lawmaker Um Sam An plans Hun Sen apology letter

A source close to jailed former opposition lawmaker Um Sam An yesterday confirmed local media reports that Sam An plans to submit a letter of apology to Prime Minister Hun Sen in the hopes of receiving a royal pardon.

An article on Voice of America’s Khmer service reported that the former lawmaker told the Supreme Court on Friday that he planned to issue an apology in which he would ask the premier to recommend a pardon from King Norodom Sihamoni.

Opposition Senator Hong Sok Hour was recently freed after serving more than two years of a seven year sentence, following a letter of apology to Hun Sen. Both Sok Hour and Sam An were arrested for controversial Facebook posts about the Cambodian-Vietnamese border, and Sam An has served 566 days of a two-and-a-half year sentence.

“It was the same case with Hong Sok Hour. After he sent the apology to the Prime Minister, the King signed the letter to release him,” the source explained, requesting anonymity because he is not authorised to speak with the press. He added that he was hopeful Sam An would be released by this weekend’s Water Festival.

However, CPP spokesman Sok Eysan said Sam An’s pardon may be complicated by the fact that he did not plead guilty in court during his trial.

“He has not acknowledged his guilt . . . I don’t know about Prime Minister Hun Sen’s decision, but from my perspective the possibility of the pardon is difficult,” he said.

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