Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Governor pardons two ahead of deportation

Governor pardons two ahead of deportation

California Governor Jerry Brown speaks in San Francisco earlier this month. Brown recently pardoned two Cambodian citizens set to be deported to the Kingdom.
California Governor Jerry Brown speaks in San Francisco earlier this month. Brown recently pardoned two Cambodian citizens set to be deported to the Kingdom. Justin Sullivan/AFP

Governor pardons two ahead of deportation

A US governor granted pardons on Sunday to two Cambodian refugees who were on the verge of being deported to the Kingdom.

Like many of the returnees who have been deported to Cambodia since 2002, Mony Neth and Mao Rottanak Kong entered the US as refugee children fleeing the Khmer Rouge and were convicted of nonviolent crimes in their youth.

They were among more than 50 Cambodians detained in recent immigration raids and scheduled to be deported from the US last week when a last-minute order from a US judge temporarily stopped the plane.

On Sunday, California Governor Jerry Brown pardoned Neth and Rottanak Kong for their crimes, in keeping with Christmas tradition, along with 130 others.

Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Asian Law Caucus, which filed a class action lawsuit against the US government last month to try to stop the deportations, told US media that the pardons could potentially stop Neth and Rottanak Kong from being deported, although they still have legal battles ahead.

Neth was sentenced in 1995 in California for receiving stolen property and unlawful possession of a weapon, and served one year and nine months in prison, according to his pardon. He is now a construction foreman and leading member of his church community.

Rottanak Kong was sentenced in 2003 in California for stealing a car and evading a police officer, and served seven months in prison. His pardon notes that “several individuals wrote in support of Mr Kong, describing him as kind and generous, and as a role model”.

MOST VIEWED

  • Serious flooding across country

    The Kampong Speu provincial Committee for Disaster Management on Wednesday issued an alert after non-stop heavy rain caused widespread flooding. In Koh Kong province, authorities are working with the disaster committee and the Cambodian Red Cross to assist those affected after more than 350 homes were

  • CNRP points to King in call for vote boycott

    Leaders of the former Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) have taken a new tack in their call for a boycott of the national elections later this month. They are now claiming that the people should follow the King, who is expected to abide by tradition

  • Actress’s NGO takes heat for promoting the ruling party

    An actress’s NGO which participated in an election campaign event contrary to the Law on Association and Non-Governmental Organisations (Lango) has been slammed. Chorn Chanleakena, a celebrity and the president of the Association of Artists Volunteering to Help Society, allegedly led its members in

  • Troop moves ‘won’t worry people’

    Senior officials at the Ministry of Defence and National Police said on Tuesday that riot training provided to the country’s police forces were aimed at preventing unexpected demonstrations and strikes before and after the July 29 national elections. The troop mobilisation, they said, would not