Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Vannak Freed

Vannak Freed

Vannak Freed

AFTER more than one year in

prison, Srun Vong Vannak an Amnesty International

"prisoner of conscience" was released on Sept

30.

Sam Rainsy's former security chief stepped out of his

cell and into freedom smiling tentatively. His mother,

who had clung to his arm and wailed when he was

convicted, combed his hair fondly as Vannak changed from

prison blues to a white shirt and trousers.

"I'm happy thanks to the generous heart that the

King has for his Cambodian subjects," he said.

"I have done nothing wrong I will keep

smiling." He added that he would resume his

political activities.

Vannak's Sept 9, 1997 conviction a 13-year sentence for

masterminding the murder of Second Prime Minister Hun

Sen's brother-in-law was immediately denounced by human

rights groups as lacking evidence and politically

motivated.

Vannak had confessed to the crime on a police tape, but

recanted the confession as soon as he reached court,

claiming police threatened it out of him.

The only other evidence against him was the confessions

of his two convicted co-conspirators, who later recanted

their stories, also claiming duress. Amnesty

International declared all three "prisoners of

conscience" in May 1998.

Legal Aid of Cambodia lawyers said Justice Minister Chem

Sgnoun had finally authorized the release of their client

while he was still abroad in Vietnam.

When the day came at last to take her son home, Sok

Sokhon was calm and her sentiments were simple. "I

am very happy," she said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen: Full country reopening to be decided in two weeks

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced that if the Covid-19 situation remains stable for 15 consecutive days from the end of the October 5-7 Pchum Ben public holiday, Cambodia will reopen fully, albeit in the context of Covid-19 whereby people have to adjust their lives to

  • Cambodia sets new Covid-19 quarantine rules

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Cambodia unveils new quarantine regulations

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Hun Sen: Cambodia set to fully reopen

    Prime Minister Hun Sen concludes that the October 5-7 Pchum Ben public holiday, during which many people either flocked to their hometowns for family reunion or gathered at tourist attractions across the country, has not caused an outbreak of Covid-19. In a special address to

  • Will Evergrande change the way Chinese developers do business in Cambodia?

    China’s property sector policy has exposed the grim financial condition of real estate developers including those operating in Cambodia, which raises questions over the viability of their projects and business going forward The dark blue netting draping over one of Yuetai Group Co Ltd’

  • Phnom Penh governor: Show Covid-19 vaccination cards, or else

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng late on October 5 issued a directive requiring all people aged 18 and over and the parents of children aged 6-17 to produce Covid-19 vaccination cards when entering schools, markets, malls, marts, eateries and other business establishments that have been permitted