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Sihanouk Thanks Government for Tribunal Immunity Nod

Former king Norodom Sihanouk thanked the government Monday for supporting immunity for him in any upcoming Khmer Rouge trials.

In a letter sent Saturday, the former monarch said he was "touched" by a government statement last week that "gives me justice in serving the country and the Cambodian people in the face of the history of our nation."

As the Khmer Rouge swelled as an insurgency in the 1970s, an exiled Sihanouk, ousted by a US-backed regime, became the nominal head of a coalition that included the communists. When the Khmer Rouge came to power in 1975, Sihanouk returned to the country and was put under house arrest.

Sihanouk's letter of thanks comes after the government said last week he would not be prosecuted and that the former king had been "a victim of the war in Indochina, caused by the intervention of foreign powers and of the resultant Khmer Rouge regime in which His Majesty lost 14 members of his family," Kyodo news service reported Saturday.