Slow Progress of Khmer Rouge Tribunal Undermines General Public’s Confidence

Posted by khmernews on January 4, 2007

General public in Cambodian has expressed concerns over the Khmer Rouge tribunal, saying that it was created a year ago, but so far no fundamental work has been done.

It has been noted that there have been some controversial ideas on adoption of the Khmer Rouge tribunal’s internal rules and confrontation between International Bar Association and Cambodian Bar Association concerning a training course for the tribunal lawyers.

Ms. Kek Galabru , President of LICADHO, expressed her concerns over the Khmer Rouge tribunal and was  afraid that the tribunal would fail to try the former Khmer Rouge leaders because three years is not so far. “Time is very important for the Khmer Rouge trial. If we need longer time, we will face shortage of money, and the remaining former Khmer Rouge leaders will die one after another or face serious illness,” she added.

Ms. Kek Galabru further said that these factors have concerned her so much and was afraid that the Khmer Rouge tribunal would not be able to find justice for about two million people who were killed in the Khmer Rouge genocide regime.

Regarding the slow progress of the Khmer Rouge tribunal, Mr. Thun Saray, President of ADHOC, said that he is waiting to see the tribunal. If the tribunal still delays its work, it will impact the Extraordinary Chamber in the Courts of Cambodia.

Mr. Thun Saray claimed, “I am really concerned because the start of the Khmer Rouge is still delayed and I don’t know when it starts. I will wait to see it until foreign judges and prosecutors, and Cambodian judges and prosecutors meet each other again. I also want to know what the results of meeting are. Also, if the tribunal is still delayed, the tribunal will not be able to find justice for the Cambodian victims.”

Ms. Seng Theary, Executive Director of Center for Social Development, said that the complicated problems having taken place recently is leading the general public into a suspicion that the tribunal seemed unwilling to try the former Khmer Rouge leaders.

Because of the slow progress of the tribunal, Mr. Brad Adams, Asia director of Human Rights Watch, accused the strongman Hun Sen’s government of interference in the Khmer Rouge tribunal.

Some views say that it is unknown when the trial will start.

For this time being, the former Khmer Rouge leaders are getting old and died one after another.

Khan Khek Leu, also known as Duch, have been imprisoned in the military prison, and his health is not good; therefore, the process of the Khmer Rouge tribunal should be accelerated.

Former Khmer Rouge leaders such as Nuon Chea, the Brother Number 2, Ieng Sary, the Brother Number 3, and Khieu Samphan have been living happily and freely. Only the former chief of Security Prison 21 has been jailed.

There has been news, saying that Duch was directly ordered by Nuon Chea to kill people in Tuol Sleng prison.

The general public claimed that if all former Khmer Rouge die, it means that the United Nations and international community waste money on Cambodia again like they have ever wasted on the 1993 general election.

A civil society organization worker said that he has had no confidence in the tribunal from the start. He insisted that the Khmer Rouge tribunal set a good example to other courts in Cambodia.

A Sam Rainsy Party lawmaker said that to prevent the tribunal from being accused of involvement in politics rather than finding justice for the Khmer Rouge victims, the Hun Sen’s government should think again about the interference of Cambodia Bar Association in the tribunal.

Extracted from: Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.13, #3031, Saturday and Sunday 9-10 December 2007


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