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Saturday, September 16, 2006

Prince Ranariddh, Funcinpec president, has filed a divorce from Princess Marie Norodom Ranariddh. On 13 Sept

By S. Rith
Rasmei Kampuchea
Translated from Khmer by Heng Soy

Prince Ranariddh, Funcinpec president, has filed a divorce from Princess Marie Norodom Ranariddh. On 13 Sept, the court had summoned the couple for a reconciliation attempt.

The news of the court summon for a reconciliation attempt has created a stir among reporters, several of whom came to the court to try to get details on this information. A source at the Phnom Penh municipal court told Rasmei Kampuchea in the afternoon of 13 Sept, that neither the prince nor his wife will show up in court as summoned. Prince Ranariddh was in Kompong Chhnang on 13 Sept.

One senior Funcinpec official said that the prince filed a divorce from Princess Marie several months ago, either in February or March. Liv Sovann, the prince’s lawyer, declined to provide any comment, he told Rasmei Kampuchea to seek information at the court, when he was contacted by phone.

The cause of the divorce procedure has not been revealed, but it could be due to the triangle affair led by Prince Ranariddh that caused frictions inside his family circle, or it could be that the couple no longer has feelings for each other.

According to a legal expert, in a divorce procedure, the court must summon the couple to reconciliation attempt once or twice first, if no reconciliation can take place, the court will then open a full court session to decide the case where the couple must be present without any representation by lawyers or third party.

According to the law, the legal expert said that sooner or later, Prince Ranariddh and Princess Marie will need to show up in court, otherwise, the court cannot decide the case.

Difficulties in the relationship between Prince Ranariddh and Prince Marie started to show up when the prince initiated his love affair with Mrs. Ouk Phalla, a former royal ballet dancer and wife of former minister Veng Sereyvuth. The relationship brought the birth of son.

Discussing recently about the law between husband and wife, Prince Ranariddh said: “I dare do it, I dare take the responsibility.” On 12 Sept, the National Assembly ratified the monogamy law which could punish up to one year of jail for all those who have extramarital affairs, or have 2 wives or husbands. Prince Ranariddh, Funcinpec MPs, and SRP MPs did not support this law saying that it will overstep on private individual rights, and that it could also affect political freedom.

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