Retired King Becomes “Depressed” As Khmer Rouge Trial “Warmed Up”

Posted by khmernews on October 8, 2007


Phnom Penh: Former King Norodom Sihanouk has released a “painful” statement about his disappointment and requested no one visit or bring offerings for him anymore, after the possibility that he might be summoned to the Khmer Rouge Tribunal was raised.
In the statement written in French dated on September 27, the former king said he would like to tell all the high dignitaries not to ask to meet him anymore since he had been “depressed” and the depression might go on.

However, the former king didn’t mention what had made him depressed.

The former king issued the statement after a spate of the debate on whether or not he, the former head of state of Democratic Kampuchea, would be summoned to the Khmer Rouge Tribunal.

Recently, a little known NGO has requested to lift the former king’s immunity and bring him to the Khmer Rouge Tribunal. Then, Khmer Rouge Tribunal’s UN Spokesman Peter Foster claimed it would depend on the Judges and Co-Prosecutors to decide on whether or not to call on the former king as witness in the court.

The events have caused the former king to appear from his long silence to issue a statement indirectly inviting the Khmer Rouge Tribunal’s UN officials to meet him in the royal palace for talks regarding the Khmer Rouge and him.

However, since it was not an official invitation and was not sent to the Khmer Rouge Khmer Rouge Tribunal, the UN officials did not appear at the royal palace, although he had prepared everything to welcome them.

Then, a Cambodian lawyer named Lao Mong Hay, who is living in Hong Kong, issued an article to talk about the importance of stripping off the former king’s immunity to allow him to be called to the Khmer Rouge Tribunal. The article has added fuel to the flame of debate on the relation between the former king and the Khmer Rouge Tribunal.

The government, politicians, parliamentarians, and most of the people, however, come up to protect the former king and consider any intention to bring the former king to the Khmer Rouge Tribunal as threats to Cambodian stability.

Julio A Jeldres, the former king’s official biographer, has recently written an article to explain clearly that the former king had not been related at all to the terrified events occurred during the Khmer Rouge regime, which caused the deaths of at least 1.7 million people.

Unofficial Translation
-Extracted from Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol. 15, #4403, Sunday-Monday, September 30-October 1, 2007.


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