Archive for October 8th, 2008

Tuesday, 7.10.2008: Chhang Youk: The Major Obstacle at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal Is Disagreement about the Laws

Posted on 8 October 2008. Filed under: Week 581 |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 581

“Officials of civil society organizations criticized the extension of the detention of five high ranking leaders of the Khmer Rouge regime, including Ieng Sary, Khiev Samphan, Nuon Chea, Ieng Thirith, and Kang Kek Iev – called Duch, the former Tuol Sleng Prison chief – as it impacts on the respect for human rights internationally; the Khmer Rouge Tribunal should discuss to begin the hearings of those five former Khmer Rouge leaders soon.

“Mr. Chhang Youk, the director of the Documentation Center of Cambodia, said that the Documentation Center of Cambodia is organizing the second discussion of a project to create large documentations on specific criminal actions in the world, so that relevant institutions can use them to seek justice for the victims of such documented actions. He added that the Documentation Center of Cambodia has organized – for the Khmer Rouge Tribunal – many documents and has collected much evidence related to the massacre of nearly 2 million Khmer citizens during the Khmer Rouge regime, to use these documents and evidence for the trial of those who are highly responsible for crimes against humanity.

“Mr. Chhang Youk continued to say that the Documentation Center of Cambodia has sufficient experience to show some other countries how to organize documents related to serious human rights abuses. Also, the Documentation Center of Cambodia has cooperated with many countries to organize documents about human rights abuses, to be used in future.

“Mr. Chhang Youk said also that the Documentation Center of Cambodia has collected many documents related to the Khmer Rouge regime for the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, including documents for judges, for co-prosecutors, for national and international legal people, to be used as evidence. He added that there are more than one million documents related to the Khmer Rouge Regime (on paper) and more than 200,000 mass grave sites where people’s bodies were dumped, as well as many voice tapes and films of surviving victims, for co-prosecutors and other legal people at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, to use them as documents and as evidence during the trials.

“Mr. Chhang Youk went on to say that so far, the Khmer Rouge Tribunal seems not to have any obstacle in collecting documents, witnesses, and evidence, for charging and for trying the five Khmer Rouge leaders. But there are disagreements on some points of the laws in the Khmer Rouge Tribunal. Therefore, national and international legal people have to discuss this, to find joint solutions to speed up the trial of those suspects soon, in order to provide justice to Khmer victims of the Khmer Rouge regime.

“Mr. Chhang Youk affirmed that now, legal problems are becoming a big obstacle for the Khmer Rouge Tribunal; problems do not result from the lack of evidence or witnesses. As for the health of the five former top Khmer Rouge leaders, no one can extend their life, but there are laws to extend the detention of those suspects. Therefore, the further extension of detention and not to conduct the trial soon, might invite criticism to the Khmer Rouge Tribunal for detaining people illegally, and it might result that those five detainees die from whatever reason, because they are old and various illnesses are destroying their bodies. Therefore, people from the field of law must discuss this to find the central points to try them very soon.

“Ms. Pong Chiv Kek, [also known as Dr. Kek Galabru], the director of the Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights – LICADHO – said that legal problems at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal are becoming the biggest obstacle, as decisions to extend the detention of the five top Khmer Rouge leaders is the right of judges and co-prosecutors, for the suspects responsible for serious crimes of killing Khmer citizens.

“She is concerned because of the age and the health of the former Khmer Rouge leaders; if there is a further extension of the detention, while they are old and sick, they might die before they are brought to trial, and the Khmer Rouge Tribunal would not be able to find justice for Khmer citizens. Therefore, co-judges and co-prosecutors of this tribunal must sit down and discuss with each other, to investigate Khmer and international laws, to find the central points which can lead to the trial of the five leaders soon.

“The Center for Social Development and the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association – ADHOC – assist in writing documents for civil party participation in the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, to demand compensation for the victims of the Khmer Rouge regime.

“The Khmer Rouge Tribunal had been criticized for corruption, with the allegation that some Khmer officials and staff members were required to pay a part of their salaries to influential officials in this tribunal. Some donor country officials had warned the Khmer Rouge Tribunal to use international aid with consideration, after some Khmer staff had filed complaints publicly, to reveal corruption at this tribunal, while the administration of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal is waiting for more funds from the United Nations for this more than US$100 million project, in order to continue the procedures of the trial of those former Khmer Rouge leaders.

“A lack of funds for foreign legal personnel is expected to happen during 2009, if the United Nations does not provide funds to the Khmer Rouge Tribunal in time. However, the problem of funds is not likely a big obstacle, because the United States announced to grant nearly US$2 million to the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, linking this with the need to be careful not to let corruption happen.” Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3581, 7.10.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1761, 7.10.2008

  • Samdech Hun Sen Criticized the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia of Having Organized the Worst Elections [Excerpts:“Samdech Hun Sen criticized the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia – UNTAC – of having organized the worst elections, saying that through the organization by UNTAC in 1993, the UN spent up to or more than US$2 billion for the elections, while the results were prepared in advance for Funcinpec to be the fist winner, while the Cambodian People’s Party that had done many things for the nation and for the people since 1979, could rank only second. Samdech Akak Moha Senapadei Dekchor Hun Sen stated this angrily at an international conference about health in Cambodia, adding that he would like to send these words to different countries worldwide, warning that if they have some problems to solve, not to let the UN organize elections, adding, ‘It was so bad; they wanted to set who to win or not, it depended on them.’…”]
  • Two Mines Exploded, Making Two Siamese [Thai] Soldiers to Lose Their Legs [Preah Vihear region]
  • The Prime Minister Reminded Doctors Again to Adhere to Their Profession
  • More Than Five Million People in Southeast Asia Who Use Drugs [mostly under the age of 24] Might Get HIV Infected [according to the Australian ambassador to Cambodia, Ms. Margaret Adamson]
  • The Ministry of Education Announces that There Were 126,104 Students Who Took the Year-9 Examinations This Year – Corresponding to 94.36%.

Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #110, 7.10.2008

  • [The UN Secretary-General] Ban Ki-Moon: Development Projects Must Not Affect the Citizens’ Living Negatively [he said during the World Habitat Day on 6 October 2008]
  • A Police from the Land Border Protection Office Number 991 Was Stabbed by a Siamese [Thai] Man [when he tried to check the man for drugs], so that He Sustained Serious Injuries [the man was arrested – Poipet]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6466, 7.10.2008

  • The US Charge d’Affairs [Ms. Piper Campbell] Admired Cambodia for not Expressing any Extreme Reactions over the Shootings [at the border with Thailand – she said the shootout is a minor problem that needs a calm and peaceful solution mutually accepted by Cambodian and by Thailand]
  • The Monitoring of the Impacts of the Expiring Textile Agreements in 2009 Is a Difficult Challenge for the Industry in Cambodia

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3581, 7.10.2008

  • Chhang Youk: The Major Obstacle at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal Is Disagreement about the Laws
  • Khmer Residents [under threat of eviction] from the Boeng Kak Area, the Dey Krahom Area, the Group #78 [at the Tonle Basak], and the Rik Reay Community Ask for Intervention from the President of the National Assembly

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4709, 7.10.2008

  • Truck Loaded with Iron Killed Two Men on the Spot, Rolling Over Their Heads [Kien Svay, Kandal]

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3420, 7.10.2008

  • The United States Should Not Worry that Relations of Khmer Muslim will connect to Terrorist Groups [Mr. Khieu Sopheak, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Interior, said that Khmer Muslim are not extremist people]
  • Teachers Requested to Decrease the Fuel Price to Riel 4,000 per Liter and to Increase the Salaries to US$250

Click here to have a look at the last editorial: Consensus about law enforcement in a society is easy to achieve, when the leadership shows to enforce it equally for all.

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