Calling Funcinpec’s breach of trust lawsuit against him an injustice, Prince Norodom Ranariddh has drawn King Norodom Sihamoni’s attention to what he claims is the court’s mismanagement of his case.
Prince Ranariddh, who is currently outside Cambodia, is due to be tried at Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Tuesday for allegedly selling Funcinpec’s headquarters for personal benefit in 2005.
“I would like to request your opinion [on the case] as the president of the Supreme Council of Magistracy,” Prince Ranariddh wrote to the King in a letter released by the Norodom Ranariddh Party on Tuesday and dated Feb 20.
“I have sacrificed much and contributed greatly to the country and its people,” Prince Ranariddh wrote. “I am a retired King’s son and former first…prime minister of Cambodia,” he added “but I received injustice.”
Prince Ranariddh claimed that Judge Ke Sakhorn has not managed his case fairly, and that the court’s Prosecutor Ouk Savouth was biased against him.
Prince Ranariddh also accused Funcinpec spokesman Nouv Sovathero of pressuring the court into issuing the warrant for his arrest last month.
Ouk Savouth said he was too busy to comment on the NRP. Municipal Court Director Chiv Keng dismissed the prince’s claims.
“The prince just complains from abroad,” Chiv Keng said. “He never comes to court.”
He also said the court is completely unbiased and is handling the case fairly.
“The court has already reformed. No one can abuse the court’s independence,” he said.
Prince Ranariddh’s adviser Ok Socheat said the NRP is asking party members whether they think the prince should return for his hearing.
“Until now we don’t know whether the prince will participate in the trial,” he said.
Nouv Sovathero said his party has asked the court to prevent Prince Ranariddh from leaving the country if he returns.
“As a plaintiff, we have the right to ask that they apprehend the suspects,” he said of the prince, who spends much of his time abroad. “People know Prince Norodom Ranariddh’s habits,” Nouv Sovathero said.