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Inmates seek amnesty ahead of the New Year

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Last week, 399 prisoners requested a sentence reduction or pardon. Hong Menea

Inmates seek amnesty ahead of the New Year

The National Commission for Review and Evaluation of the Ministry of Justice has asked 155 prisoners to submit requests to the government to ask if their sentences can be commuted or pardoned before Khmer New Year in April.

Ministry secretary of state Kim Santepheap, told The Post on March 30 that following a meeting of the commission, 399 prisoners requested a sentence reduction or pardon last week.

The commission decided to forward the request of 155 prisoners to the government for review. These requests will be submitted to the King, who can choose to grant pardons before Khmer New Year in April.

“After meeting to review the 399 prisoners’ request, it was decided to forward a request to the head of the government to review and submit to his majesty the King to grant sentence reductions to a total of 155 prisoners.” he said.

Of the 155 prisoners who had requested amnesty, 45 of their sentences could be reduced by six months, 35 sentences could be reduced by nine months, and 48 sentences could be reduced by 12 months, Santepheap said. Pardons are being considered for 27 prisoners.

He said the commission received 399 pardon requests from 22 provincial-level prisons and four correctional centres under the Ministry of Interior.

“We favour light offenders, older prisoners, and senior prisoners with a chronic illness or disability.

“Therefore, we carefully studied the number of prisoners who are seeking relief and amnesty. The National Commission has already made assessments and is waiting for documentation which may be completed next week.” Santepheap said.

During last year’s Khmer New Year holidays, 134 prisoners were granted a reduced sentence or amnesty by the government.

Reduced sentences of six months were given to 57 prisoners, nine months to 19 prisoners and 12 months to 40 prisoners.

Two life sentences were commuted to 20 years in prison and one life sentence to 16 years.

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