Khmernews

International Judges Deny Cambodian Judges’ Claim about the Deadlock

Posted by khmernews on June 12, 2007

The international judges of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) have denied the press release made by Cambodian judges that it is not correct to say that the international judges have decided not to participate in the plenary session and caused the delay of the Khmer Rouge trial.
International judges’ representative Marcel Lemonde overruled the statement on the 7th of April by pointing out that the international judges have never announced to boycott or not to participate in the scheduled plenary session on the 30th of April to adopt the internal rules.

He explained that the international judges have made several options open for the adoption of the internal rules, but the problem is with the Cambodian Bar Association (CBA) who stalls the process since it has been 3 weeks that the board of the CBA haven’t officially met to discuss the foreign lawyer registration fees.

CBA President Ky Tech said that officially, he has discussed with ECCC [Chief] of Defense Support Section Rupert Skilbeck already. He said that he has requested Rupert Skilbeck to make an official letter about the imposed fees from the CBA, but Rupert Skilbeck hasn’t made it yet.

Ky Tech has also criticized the international judges that they should not intervene in the decision making of Defense Support Section of the ECCC. “The CBA [wondered] if Rupert can decide. If he only acts as a spokesman to the international judges, we cannot talk to him since before he used to agree with us when we talked face-to-face, but then he said that the international judges disagreed. Now, I’m waiting for an official letter from him. I will meet to talk with him as long as he [sends] me an official letter to say what he wants and what he wants to talk about,” he said.

In the announcement on the 3rd of April, the Cambodian judges criticized the Defense Support Section of the ECCC of not taking any actions to discuss with the CBA to find solutions.

The international judges insist on finding the solution which can be accepted by both sides as soon as possible, or the judges discuss to find way so that the Khmer Rouge trial will not be delayed anymore.

Concerning the process of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, Eric John, deputy-assistant secretary of the US embassy in Phnom Penh, said that Cambodia should look at the important roles of the court and reflect how far Cambodia can integrate their ideas and abilities with the international community. He said this in a press conference at the US embassy in Phnom Penh while the tribunal’s national and international officials are having disagreements over the foreign lawyer registration fees and the deadlock in the adoption of the internal rules which has lasted for months.

He requested the involving parties to discuss in a positive manner to solve the problem. The international judges have contributed to Cambodia their experience and expertise with the objectives of what to do. Moreover, they help ensure that the special court in Cambodia will conform to the international standard.

He said that Cambodia will be ashamed of itself if a small problem can stall the process of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal.

Eric John continued to say that the Khmer Rouge trial is a precious chance for Cambodia to show the international community that Cambodia is moving forwards. “And it will be ashamed if Cambodia cause the failure or cannot show the world about its positive progress in accomplishing its historical task due to a small problem.”

It should be noticed that the ECCC’s national and international officials have been playing their roles officially since July 2006.

However, justice-finding for the victims, so far, has not been made due to the disagreements over the foreign registration fees and the obstruction of the internal rules.

(Informal Translation)
-Extracted from Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.14, 3012, Tuesday, April 10, 2007.

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