Khmernews

International Co-Prosecutor Worries about the Khmer Rouge Tribunal in Which Cambodians Do Not Believe

Posted by khmernews on March 29, 2007

A Canadian Robert Betit, who has been appointed to be a co-prosecutor in the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, has shown his concern about the Khmer Rouge Tribunal and that Cambodians do not believe in the court.  He made this comment during a public forum in Kratie province organized by Center for Social Development after he faced difficulties in answering a number of questions related to the Khmer Rouge Tribunal asked by people.

Robert Betit, said that there were a lot of people asking for explanations why there were mass killings in the Khmer Rouge regime and why they continued to kill a lot of people even if they were controlling the country. “We did not fulfill our obligation well in explaining the people about a number of evidence collected and the procedures we are practicing,” claimed Robert Betit, adding that there must be more information about the Khmer Rouge Tribunal given to the people.

A legal observer said that since the former Khmer Rouge leaders are getting older and Pol Pot has already died while some of the former Khmer Rouge cadres are holding the power too, the people can’t believe in the Khmer Rouge Tribunal.

The observer continued that according to a referendum about the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, more than 70 percent of the people do not believe that the Khmer Rouge Tribunal can give justice to victims. Among those people, some said that the prosecutions on few former Khmer Rouge leaders who were most responsible for the Khmer Rouge regime can’t calm the spirits of victims down since the mass killings were not only committed by these few people, but many others.

Concerning this problem, PM Hun Sen also agreed that the mass killings were not only caused by these few people and compared them to the killings of millions of chickens which cannot be done in a short period of time by few people. As a result, the Khmer Rouge trial cannot find justice for people “if it is not considered deeply into the reasons of the killings”.

As what Robert Betit has mentioned, Cambodians are still doubtful about the mass killings in the Khmer Rouge regime which they do not know the reason why the Khmer Rouges had to kill people while they had already controlled the country. The question is that why these problems [could] happen during the Khmer Rouge regime?

However, if the Khmer Rouge Tribunal can prosecute the former Khmer Rouge leaders while they are living, they can tell the reasons of the mass killings during this regime. [Finding the truth] is very important since it can make Cambodians as well as people around the world know who were related to the killings [during the Khmer Rouge regime].

What worries us at the moment is the very slow progress of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal since it is worried that the trials cannot be held or they are held after the former Khmer Rouge leaders died.

(Informal Translation)
-Extracted from Moneaksekar Khmer. Vol.13, # 3012. Friday, November 17, 2006.

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