Thursday, March 15, 2012

Tribunal spat

A day doesn't go by without some sort of clash between the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, the government or the various fractions surrounding the whole kit and kaboodle. The latest disagreement is on the fate of Comrade Duch and his life imprisonment. The trial prosecutors assumed that once his sentence was increased to the duration of his natural days, and his involvement in Case 002 as a witness finishes (which might be later this year or next), then he would be transferred to the country's main jail and fall under the jurisdiction of the government's Interior Ministry. Fat chance. They've turned round and said they don't want to host Duch or pay for his food and medical bills for the remainder of his life. They reckon it's the duty of the Tribunal, who should build a separate prison just for him (and presumably his KR cronies should they be found guilty). At other tribunals around the world, those found guilty are then handed over to the local governments but money is always at the front of any thinking here, and the Interior Ministry don't want to get saddled with his ongoing expense. As I said, it's just another day at the tribunal. Interesting to hear too that Ben Kiernan, one of the best known historians on the Khmer Rouge period in Cambodia's history, who has written extensively on the subject, has said he's too busy to appear in person at the tribunal to give testimony in Case 002. The defence teams have jumped on the news though it seems likely that Kiernan will be allowed to give video testimony as a compromise.



Blogger Andy Brouwer said...

It's gone tits-up again at the KRT with the UN-appointed investigating judge jumping ship, the 2nd in a matter of months, complaining loudly of the lack of support and interference by the Cambodians at court. And all the while, everyone is trying to pretend that there is no political pressure being applied. Yeah, right. Look at that flying pigs on a tricycle....

Comrade Duch is also hogging the headlines again, this time as a star witness for the prosecution in the trial of the three most senior Khmer Rouge leaders in the dock. He's definitely sticking the knife in on Nuon Chea. More of the same please. I just hope he doesn't over-egg it, as he seems to be more than keen to play a starring role.


March 23, 2012 at 3:26 PM  

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