Monday, January 5, 2009

ECCC co-prosecutors butting heads against each other on the possibility of launching additional prosecutions

Chea Leang (L) and Robert Petit (R)

05 Jan 2009

Cambodge Soir Hebdo
Translated from French by Tola Ek
Click here to read the article in French

One of the co-prosecutors said that he is ready to initiate legal investigations against other suspects for crimes committed under the KR regime, the other categorically refuses to go along.
More prosecutions or not? The situation is at a standstill at the KR Tribunal. A communiqué was distributed on Monday 05 January providing details on the position taken by each of the two ECCC co-prosecutors.

[Robert Petit,] the International co-prosecutor, has proposed the filing of two new Introductory Submissions and one Supplementary Submission as there are reason to believe that “the crimes described in those submissions were committed, and these crimes are within the jurisdiction of this Court.” He also added that “he does not believe that such prosecutions would endanger Cambodia’s peace and stability.”

His Cambodian colleague, [Chea Leang,] is of the opposite opinion. She does not wish to see other people being charged as she promotes the “national reconciliation” process, and also because of “the spirit of the agreement between the United Nations and the Government of Cambodia.” Finally, she prefers that the Court should instead prioritize the trials of the five suspects already detained because of the tight budget available for the KRT.

The outcome is important as it reflects two visions for the trial of the former KR members. On one side is the vision supported by Westerners which favors the widening of the number of additional prosecutions, and on the other side, the Cambodian vision which never hides its lack of enthusiasm in such proceeding.


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