Khmernews

No political interference with K Rouge trial: Tribunal official

Posted by khmernews on June 8, 2009

Phnom Penh: Khmer Rouge tribunal’s jourists expressed their position again that war crimes court was not involved in political interference, Khmer Rouge tribunal’ newly appointed spokesman Dim Sovannarom told Rasmei Kampuchea on 6 June.

The tribunal official made the announcement in response to a letter written by Khmer Rouge Brother Number 2 Nuon Chea’s international co-defence lawyer on 3 June 2009. Dutch co-lawyer Michiel Pestman representing Nuon Chea submitted a letter to the investigating judges, urging investigation into political interference with the tribunal jurisdiction.

Political pressure he heard could impact on job performance of the co-prosecutors and co-investigating judges, the co-defence lawyer claimed.

Co-investigating judge You Bunleng responded on 5 June that the tribunal had been proceeding since its first tasks without problem – it had been running smoothly, Dim Sovannarom said. In one hand, judges performed theirs jobs by applying with the Khmer Rouge tribunal’s law.

Co-investigating Judge Marcel Lemonde wrote to Nuon Chea’s defence on 4 June 2009, raising Article 5 of an agreement between the government of Cambodia and the UN over the establishment of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), Dim Sovannarom said.

The Article 5 reads the co-investigating judges shall be independent in performing their tasks and shall not under instruction of government of Cambodia or other sources. But it is seen scope of investigation is determined within Khmer Rouge tribunal’s senior Khmer Rouge leaders and those most responsible for crimes committed from 17 April 1975 to 6 January 1979.

Marcel Lemonde reiterated he came to Cambodia to do his job as co-investigating judge, Dim Sovannarom outlined. Until now, his job has run smoothly as he wanted. But if not so, he would quit.

Co-prosecutors’ position was also raised during press conference held on 3 June 2009. Co-investigating judge Robert Petit said political interference was not in the hybrid court jurisdiction to try Khmer Rouge leaders.

National co-prosecutor Chea Leang claimed that tasks within the tribunal were performed under the tribunal law and the agreement between the government of Cambodia and the UN, especially based on national legal policy to try Khmer Rouge leaders, Chea Leang was quoted as saying by Dim Sovannarom.

The tribunal spokesman outlined that tribunal security was continuing investigation into acclaim by Michiel Pestman accusing that 4-page confidential documents wee stolen from his office. But any outcome is not announced now.

The trial of former Khmer Rouge’s Tuol Sleng prison chief Kaing Guek Eav alias Duch is to be continued on 8 June in turn of witnesses and civil parties to talk about fact of S-21 torture center or Tuol Sleng prison operation including Chhoeung Ek ‘Killing Fields’.

Unofficial Translation
Extract from the Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol 17, #4914, Sunday-Monday, June 07-08, 2009.

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