Cambodian opposition leader returns from exile after royal pardon

[JURIST] After receiving a royal pardon, Cambodian opposition leader Sam Rainsy [BBC profile; party website] returned home to Cambodia Friday after a year of self-imposed exile in France. Sam Rainsy had fled to France after his parliamentary immunity was revoked [JURIST report] for accusing Prime Minister Hun Sen [BBC profile] of trying to kill him in 1997. He also accused Prince Norodom Ranariddh [BBC profile], the president of the Cambodian National Assembly [official website] and the premier's junior coalition partner, of taking bribes. The opposition leader had been sentenced in absentia to 18 months in prison.

Sam Rainsy said late last year that he would seek a royal pardon [JURIST report] and Hun Sen later agreed to petition King Norodom Sihanouk [official website] on his rival's behalf. The king granted the pardon [BBC report] last week. Reuters has more.

 

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