US Senator Studies Khmer Rouge Tribunal in Cambodia
Posted by khmernews on January 31, 2007
Phnom Penh: A US senator from the US Democrat’s Party has led a group of delegates to Cambodia to study the process of the Khmer Rouge tribunal and to visit the Documentary Center of Cambodia.
Mr. Jeff Schoenberg, a US senator, said that he arrived in Cambodia on the 15th of January 2007 and will stay there for one week in order to study the Khmer Rouge tribunal and to visit the Documentary Center of Cambodia.
Mr. Jeff Schoenberg added that his visit to Cambodia was to share contributions on the progress of the Khmer Rouge tribunal through coming to see and to study the tribunal, and that he would disseminate his study’s findings internationally,”.
He further said that his work is not like other organization’s which is aimed at sharing contribution to the building of Cambodia and bettering Cambodians’ living standards, but is to be a witness of what is happening in Cambodia.”
The senator stressed that his visit doesn’t have connection with any political party but with morality in order to respond to the events that occurred in Cambodia that shocked the entire world. Moreover, he believed that the leader of a country in which a genocidal regime occurred should take actions to respond to it. If an action is not taken proclaiming against the genocide, it means that we allow it to happen again in the future.
Mr. Jeff Schoenberg affirmed that to serve the public’s interest, an in-depth study should be conducted in order to compile a document about what happened during the Khmer Rouge regime to be used as a lesson for other leaders to avoid such bad examples.
The senator thought that the funds for the operation of the Khmer Rouge tribunal are limited. Even though they have faced few difficulties with the funding, the tribunal has been operating its work smoothly. The tribunal will be an example for other countries’ in an attempt to explain that if any individual commits genocide, they will be brought to a trial.
Mr. Van Channpovdara, the deputy director of the Documentary Center of Cambodia, asserted that the visit of the US senator will generate more attention to the former Khmer Rouge leader trial in the courts of Cambodia.
Mr. Reach Sambath, a spokesperson of the Extraordinary Chamber in the Courts of Cambodia, said that the budget for the tribunal was co-funded by the United Nations and the Royal government of Cambodia. Of US$ 56,3 million, US$43 million was given by donor countries through the United Nations, and other US$13,3 million was contributed by the Royal Government of Cambodia.
He highlighted that within US$43 million, the US did not fund the tribunal directly, but funded through several organizations; for example, the Documentary Center of Cambodia. “Now we want the US to fund the tribunal directly, but it has not approved yet,” said Reach Sambath.
Ms. Chea Leang, Co-prosecutors of the Extraordinary Chamber in the Courts of Cambodia, previously affirmed that the co-prosecutors office will submit a case against the senior former Khmer Rouge leaders and others who were most responsible for the crimes committed during the Khmer Rouge regime in 2007.
Mr. Nuon Chea, the Brother Number 2 of the Khmer Rouge regime, recently told a non-Cambodian reporter that the Khmer Rouge regime lasting from 1975 to 1979 did not kill people, but attempted to create a prosperous, pure and just society. He will, however, appear in the court, if he is summoned.
Extracted from: Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4187, Wednesday 17 January 2007