T HE largest prison in Phnom Penh, T3, will be moved to Prey Sar reports Reasmei
Kampuchea newspaper quoting the Co-Minister of The Interior You
Hokry said his ministry was concerned about the safety of T3
prisoners because the jail is currently in a very critical condition.
said: "There was a high probability of accidents because the roofs, walls and
prison rooms are in poor condition and should not be used any more."
new jail will be established with vocational schools and a place for sports
which is very important for long term detainees.
"Many opinions support
this idea because prisoners, when they are released from jail, lack skills to
earn a living."
He said his ministry would work in conjunction with the
Ministry of Economics and Finance to get the cash to build the new penal
establisment in Prey Sar, 20 km southwest of Phnom Penh.
He said: "The
Ministry of Finance will rent or sell the plot of land T3 was on and give the
money to the Ministry of Interior to construct the new prison.
date has been set for the exchange between the ministries and the amount of
money is yet to be determined."
He added: "The T3 prison site has a lot
of economic potential because it is in the central city area and will thus net a
lot of cash when the land is rented to a private company to convert into a hotel
or a trade center. However, we do not yet know who will invest
Hokry said the establishment of a prison in the heart of the
capital only served a purpose when the government wished to put pressure on the
people such as during the period of French colonial rule.
"After the election the country has recovered freedom and democracy so the
prison should be moved far out of town."
T3 prison was built during the
colonial period and styled on French jails.
Prison chief Kuy Bun said
that pre 1979 there were dark cells, where convicts with severe guilt were kept,
but they have now all been turned into light cells.
Hokry said there are
more than 100 convicts in T3 prison.
Thirty seven of these prisoners
were put in custody by the former SOC government without being formally charged
or given a trial.