O N July 2, King Norodom Sihanouk issued a letter to the government requesting
the release of Gavin Scott from T3 Prison.
The King wrote that while
waiting for formal proof of any crimes committed, "I think it is in the
interests of Cambodia to release Dr Gavin Scott, who has rendered services to
our nation in the domain of public health."
The King referred to
Australian, British and French citizens who had been killed by Khmer Rouge
soldiers who remained unpunished.
He said that Scott's crime, "if there
is a 'crime', is far from comparable to the horrible crimes of certain Khmer
Four days later, the King retracted his statement in a second
letter which said he had asked the government to consider his initial request
"null and void".
The King said he had received some letters of protest
against his earlier statement, and specifically referred to an NGO worker
involved in investigating Scott's case.
Meanwhile on July 4, in between
the King's statements, First Prime Minister Prince Norodom Ranariddh also
publicly referred to the Scott case.
Prince Ranariddh said the King could
grant amnesty to Scott or let him out of the country, but the government "cannot
make any decision".
The Prince said it was up to the courts to "judge
according to the guilt".
"If the courts establish adequate proof, he must
be prosecuted and, in my opinion, made an example of. This kind of guilt, in my
view, must be severely punished."