TOP NEWS: PM Hun Sen Doesn’t Control Court, but Understands Court’s Independent Judicial Authority: PM’s Confidant

Phnom Penh , Nov. 10 – In response to Sam Rainsy’s statement on Radio Free Asia on Saturday accusing Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen of controlling Cambodian courts, Prime Minister’s confidant, on anonymity, told Fresh News CEO Lim Chea Vutha that: “Prime Minister understands clearly the court’s independent judicial authority in implementing laws in Cambodia that he dared to bet with Sam Rainsy.”

Premier’s confidant explained that “the authority of Prime Minister in releasing a detainee is based on the Prison Law, which grants Prime Minister a privilege to request to His Majesty for an amnesty that applies to convict only. In Kem Sokha’s case, the court has yet issued a verdict.”

It can be understood that Kem Sokha is an “accused”, not a “convict”, thus Sokha is not eligible to be granted amnesty.

The same source underlined that “the fact that Prime Minister decided to play this game does not mean he controls the court. Indeed, he understands clearly law implementation in Cambodia and the her independent judiciary.”

“Prime Minister knows clearly that Sam Rainsy just wants his voice to be aired on media (like Radio Free Asia) that he [Rainsy] answered unwisely without legal grounds. The premier does not want to reply to a convict, so I do on his behalf,” the premier’s confidant told Fresh News.

Prime Minister’s decision to bet with Sam Rainsy was made in response to Sam Rainsy‘s statement on Facebook: “Does Hun Sen dare to bet with me? On 7 November, Hun Sen says that we will have to wait for “a horse to grow horns” before he frees Kem Sokha. I still believe that under international pressure, Mr. Hun Sen will be forced to release Mr. Sokha in the near future, apparently on 29 December 2018, or at the latest 3 March 2019. If Hun Sen won this bet, he did not have to cut himself as he had promised to stop deforestation. I just asked him to resign his premiership. But if I lose to Hun Sen, I would turn myself in and let the court arrest me and put me in custody together with Kem Sokha without inserting something new (such as a coup) other than the aforementioned.”

Prime Minister confirmed shorty in an exclusive interview with Fresh News CEO Lim Chea Vutha that: “I play this game with Sam Rainsy. If Kem Sokha is released, Hun Sen will resign; but if not, Rainsy shall dare to be arrested.”