The Royal Government Attorney Group has issued a statement reiterating that Cambodia has no political prisoners, only politicians convicted for committing criminal offenses.

The full statement dated Nov. 17 reads as follows:

“Persons who commit illegal acts shall be convicted and punished according to the provisions of law. The execution of sentences according to judicial decisions, which are rendered after the process of legal proceedings and which have become final, is a general and usual norm implemented in every rule of law country.

When a person has perpetrated an act which is defined as a criminal offense, Cambodian criminal law provides for penalties in the forms of imprisonment and fines, in particular, which are the result of a criminal action and imposes civil remedies originated from the victim’s civil action serving the purpose of seeking compensation for injuries to a victim of a criminal offense. If a convicted person fails to voluntarily provide remedies to the civil party, the latter may request the court seize assets of the convicted person for sale by auction and use the proceeds to pay the compensation according to the decisions in the judicial judgement which has become final or which could be the subject of a provisional execution, regardless of whether the convict has tried to evade justice and the competent authorities are still unable to carry out criminal penalties against that person.

The individuals named Sam Rainsy and Tioulong Saumura had committed acts which are stipulated as criminal offenses under Cambodian criminal law. Relevant judicial proceedings commenced and progressed until completion according to the applicable laws, and these individuals were found guilty for their criminal offenses in violation of the law through the judicial decisions that have become final, as the last legal resort, and executable, sentencing these perpetrators for the criminal offenses that they committed and awarding of civil remedies to the civil parties who were victims of such crimes.

Currently, the law offenders named Sam Rainsy and Tioulong Saumura are facing more judgements that will one by one become final and, accordingly, more compulsory execution complaints.

The execution proceedings conducted through compulsory sale rulings against the immovable property owned by the convicts named Sam Rainsy and Tioulong Saumura, being a personal asset, is a mere implementation of applicable laws and procedures. Although this immovable property was in the past used as the head office of a former political party, this asset actually belongs to the natural persons named Sam Rainsy and Tioulong Saumura, who were obligated to pay civil compensation by the effect of the relevant final court judgements but failed to make voluntary payment therefor.

Once the compulsory sale proceedings have been completed against the immovable property in question, this immovable property will belong to the buyer who succeeds in purchasing it by auction from the court, and neither Sam Rainsy and Tioulong Saumura nor any other persons will have any rights to reacquire the ownership over this immovable property.

The judicial seizure and compulsory sale of assets of a convict or obligor is a usual procedure enforced against every person who owes an obligation of providing civil remedies, not just against Sam Rainsy and Tioulong Saumura.”

Source: Agency Kampuchea Press

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