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Prisoner transfer deal done with India

Prisoner transfer deal done with India

THE government has approved an agreement that will enable the transfer of prisoners between Cambodia and India, officials say.

"It is in response to international law," said Phay Siphan, spokesman for the Council of Ministers.

Explaining what the agreement means, he said that if an Indian national were to be arrested, convicted and sentenced for a crime in Cambodia, he or she could be transferred to India, under the new agreement, to serve out the resulting sentence.

Phay Siphan said the Council of Ministers approved the prisoner-transfer agreement during a Cabinet meeting on Friday, which was chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Men Sam An.   

Sau Raj Ray, first secretary at the Indian embassy, said a memorandum of understanding on prisoner transfers was signed in 2007 when Prime Minister Hun Sen visited India.

"This is part of an ongoing bilateral exchange," he said.

He said there are currently between 1,500 and 2,000 Indian nationals living in Cambodia. In 2008, some 883 Cambodians visited India.

However, there are currently no Cambodian prisoners in Indian jails and no Indian prisoners in Cambodian jails, he said.

Koy Kuong, an undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said that "previously, Cambodia had agreements to extradite prisoners with three countries - Laos, China and Thailand".

The only prisoner transfer agreements the Kingdom now has are with Australia and India.

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