King Norodom Sihamoni on Thursday officially pardoned Prince Norodom Ranariddh, who was sentenced to 18 months in prison last year for breach of trust, according to a copy of a royal decree.
The decree, signed by the King, orders that a pardon be given to “convict Norodom Ranariddh, who was sentenced to 18 months in prison.”
“Samdech Hun Sen, prime minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, must implement this royal decree,” the decree adds.
The prince will return Sunday, stopping first in Siem Reap, Norodom Ranariddh Party spokesman Suth Dina said.
“It is the habit of royal family members. They come to [Siem Reap] to respect the old king ancestors,” Suth Dina said.
In March 2007, the Phnom Penh Municipal Court found Prince Ranariddh guilty of breach of trust for selling Funcinpec’s old headquarters near the French Embassy for $3.6 million and using the proceeds to purchase a new plot of land that was then placed in his own name. The Supreme Court upheld the verdict on July 30 of this year.
Prince Ranariddh wrote two letters Thursday, one to King Sihamoni and the other to Hun Sen, thanking them for the pardon.
“I would like to thank Samdech Hun Sen who helped intervene to King Norodom Sihamoni to grant me a pardon on Sept 25 that enables me to return to the country on Sunday, September 28,” the prince wrote in his letter to the prime minister.
“I am confident that Cambodia’s government, led by a wise Samdech…will help the country and the people receive development by reducing poverty,” he added.
In his letter to the King, the prince reiterated his commitment to national reconciliation.
“I am committed to following your majesty’s idea for the cause of national reconciliation and unity to restore democracy and development,” he wrote.