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Just one prisoner gets Water Festival pardon

Justice Minister Ang Vong Vathana speaks at the meeting held to pardon prisoners last week.
Justice Minister Ang Vong Vathana speaks at the meeting held to pardon prisoners last week. Heng Chivoan

Just one prisoner gets Water Festival pardon

Just one prisoner was recommended to receive a royal pardon this year for the Water Festival holiday, while 48 will likely see their sentences reduced, out of 421 prisoners who applied for reprieves.

Last year, seven prisoners were freed under King Norodom Sihamoni’s traditional festival clemency and 88 saw their sentences reduced.

Kim Santepheap, a Justice Ministry spokesperson, said in a message on Thursday that a committee with representatives from the ministries of justice and interior had reviewed 54 applications for pardons and 367 applications for reduced sentences.

Chin Malin, another Justice Ministry spokesperson, said the pardon and reduced sentences would go into effect once the King signs a decree.

Malin declined to identify specific prisoners who were affected and added that for a reduced sentence or pardon the prisoners had to have served one-third or half of their sentences, respectively. The decision to pardon would then depend on behaviour in custody.

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