Funcinpec, CPP Plan Lon Nol Regime Tribunal

Funcinpec and the CPP have begun planning for a tribunal of the Lon Nol regime relating to the coup against then-Prince Noro­dom Si­hanouk in 1970, ac­cording to royalist party officials.

Funcinpec lawmaker Monh Sa­phan said Thursday that such a tri­b­unal would right the historical rec­ord of Norodom Sihanouk, who he added was convicted by a court during the Lon Nol regime of ceding territory to Vietnam.

Speaking at the Funcinpec Con­gress on Tuesday, party Presi­dent Prince Norodom Rana­rid­dh said a special court should be established for the Lon Nol period.

“We should form an extraordinary court to try Lon Nol’s re­gime,” Prince Ranariddh said, ad­ding that the regime “staged an un­fair coup against the father King…which led to Pol Pot’s geno­cidal regime.”

He added that Monh Saphan and CPP lawmaker Ek Sam Ol were preparing documents for the republican government’s trial.

Monh Saphan first raised the issue on Nov 11 during National As­­sem­bly debates on the supplemental border agreement with Viet­nam.

“We will sue the whole regime,” Monh Saphan said Thurs­day. “The accused would be decided by the court’s research.”

But other Funcinpec members had different ideas.

“There is a group of Cambod­ian expatriates living in France, in particular former government and ministry officials. They still believe in the Lon Nol regime and they continue to be wrong,” royalist lawmaker Ly Thuch said.

He added that some members of the Lon Nol government “did something wrong in mapping” Cam­bodia’s borders.

But one legal expert said on con­dition of anonymity that extradition from France would be un­likely to happen.

And Sok Sam Oeun, executive director of the Cambodian De­fen­ders Project, questioned whether there was any legal basis for a trial.

“I don’t think there are any legal grounds,” he said.

“For the Khmer Rouge, there are genocide charges, but for the Lon Nol regime I don’t know what the charges would be,” he said, adding that he did not be­lieve the idea was serious.

Sam Rainsy Party Secretary-Gen­­eral Eng Chhay Eang said the lawsuit was a diversion to set the stage for retired King Sihan­ouk’s re­turn, and to divert criticism of the controversial sup­pl­emen­tal bor­der agreement with Vietnam.

“They [have a tribunal] against air,” he said of the plan to sue an entire historical period.

“No one is responsible now,” he said, noting that Lon Nol and Prince Sisowath Sirik Matak, who was acting prime minister from 1971 to 1972, are both dead.



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