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Saturday, 21 March, 1998, 12:48 GMT
Cambodian royalist party spokesman says pardon a step in the right direction

The Secretary-General of Prince Ranariddh's FUNCINPEC party in Cambodia, Tol Lah, has told the BBC that the Prince has welcomed the pardon granted to him by his father, King Sihanouk.

Tol Lah described the amnesty as a move in the right direction, and said Prince Ranariddh would discuss the preparations for his return to Cambodia at a meeting with his senior advisers today.

The royal pardon for Prince Ranariddh, who was convicted by a military court of plotting a coup and colluding with Khmer Rouge guerrillas, is a key element of a peace plan to allow him to take part in elections scheduled for July.

Tol Lah said the party wanted to ensure the involvement of the United Nations in monitoring the safety of Prince Ranariddh and his supporters, as well as any disarmament arrangements.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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