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Ranariddh Party Asks King to Pardon Prince

The Norodom Ranariddh Party sent a letter to King Norodom Sihamoni Wednesday, requesting a pardon for Prince Ranariddh, following the Supreme Courts decision to uphold a breach of trust decision against him.

Prince Ranariddh, who is in exile, faces an 18-month prison sentence and $150,000 fine if he returns to Cambodia. He led his self-named party from Kuala Lumpur during the national election and has said he would not be able to return if his party did not win the election.

"We, the Norodom Ranariddh Party, want the king to use his role in the constitution to pardon Prince Norodom Ranariddh to return to Cambodian politics and social activity," party spokesman Muth Chantha said. "The prince is still very important for the nation in the course of legal democracy and the respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms."

King Norodom Sihamoni joined former king Norodom Sihanouk on a trip to Beijing for the opening of the Summer Olympics Friday, and Royal Palace officials were not available for comment.

"We lost in the Municipal, Appeals and Supreme courts, so we can only depend on the king to pardon the prince," he said. "We strongly hope the king will pardon the prince."