Foreign Lawyers Do Not Have Trust in the Head of the Victims’ Unit of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal – Thursday, 4.6.2009

Posted on 5 June 2009. Filed under: Week 615 |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 615

“On Tuesday, defense lawyers of the former president of the National Assembly of the Khmer Rouge regime Nuon Chea attacked Ms. Helen Jarvis, who has just been reassigned from being the head of the Public Affairs Office as the head of the Victims’ Unit of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal. The attack was made, because Nuon Chea’s defense lawyers know well the biography of Ms. Helen Jarvis, who had been involved in politics in Australia previously.

“The prosecutor general of the Appeals Court Hanrot Raken said on Tuesday that he started to check again the judgment of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, which had rejected the primary investigation conducted in January, following a request of Nuon Chea’s defense lawyers over a corruption scandal allegation at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal. But Hanrot Raken did not specify whether the Appeals Court will reject the complaint of Nuon Chea’s defense lawyers, like the Phnom Penh Municipal Court had done, or not. Many observers said that if the Appeals Court does so, the corruption scandal at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal cannot be solved.

“The Dutch defense lawyer of Nuon Chea, Mr. Michael Pestman, said on Tuesday that he and his colleagues are concerned about the content of an open letter from 2006 by an Australian political group, signed by 50 people, including Ms. Helen Jarvis. On the same day, there was no comment from Ms. Helen Jarvis regarding what has been mentioned by Nuon Chea’s defense lawyers, while the head of the Public Affairs Office of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, Mr. Reach Sambath, said that he could not make any comment on a document that is not issued by the Khmer Rouge Tribunal.

“The source that Nuon Chea’s defense lawyers mentioned is an open letter released in May 2006 by the Leninist Party Faction, that seems to express disappointment over internal disagreements in the Democratic Socialist Perspective Party, which is part of the Socialist League Party, a leftist party in Australia, which is Ms. Helen Jarvis’ background. The Leninist Party Faction split from the Democratic Socialist Perspective Party last year.

“That open letter reads, ‘We are Marxists and we believe that to do something wrong in order to achieve important results is acceptable. During revolutions and civil wars, some extreme measures sometimes become necessary and acceptable. As opponents of the bourgeoisie as well as their state agencies, we do not accept their laws and their fake moral conduct.’ Mr. Michael Pestman said that he is worried about the sentences of Ms. Helen Jarvis, which seem to ignore the law and the so-called bourgeoisie moral conduct.

“Mr. Michael Pestman said, ‘I have really doubts that a person with such a view is the proper person to be, first, in the position of an Ethics Monitor observing the code of conduct [at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal to combat corruption], and second, to be the head of the Victims’ Unit. The major question is what are her intentions?’ Mr. Michael Pestman criticized Ms. Helen Jarvis who has frequently stated that there is less and less corruption at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal. ‘She frequently agreed with the government’s views, making us very worried.’ This defense lawyer added that he plans to present the problem about Ms. Helen Jarvis in a public conference on Thursday.

“A legal advisor of Nuon Chea’s defense lawyer, Mr. Andrew Ianuzzi, said last Thursday that Mr. Hanrot Raken plans to interview the head of the Administration Office of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, Sean Visoth, who had asked to take leave, and seek to check the corruption allegations over kickbacks again. On Tuesday, 2 June 2009, Hanrot Raken rejected to provide detailed information to journalists, saying that he has transferred to deal with this issue to the deputy prosecutors of the Appeals Court, Ouk Savuth and Hang Sitha. This shows to many that the process to reveal a corruption scandal at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal is being hidden without shame.

“According to another letter from the Khmer Rouge Tribunal co-investigating judges, a request for the release of information about possible relations between a former investigator of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, Mr. Stephen Heder, and the US Central Intelligence Agency, CIA, had been rejected. Defense lawyers of former deputy prime minister and minister of foreign affairs of the Khmer Rouge regime Ieng Sary asked the co-investigating judges to release information related to a claim in a book in 2003, which stated that Mr. Stephen Heder had said himself that he is a former ‘intelligence official.’

“In a request dated 30 January 2009, Ieng Sary’s defense lawyers wrote that Mr. Heder was an American expert on the Khmer Rouge regime who was apparently hired by the CIA, and this might affect his neutrality as an investigator for the Investigative Judges Office of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal. However, the Investigating Judges dismissed this, issuing a letter dated 29 May 2009, responding that the accusation of Ieng Sary’s defense lawyers does not have a proper basis. This letter of the co-investigating judges of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal says, ‘In order to avoid any lack of clearity and to stop incorrect statements which clearly appear ill-willed, we decided to state that we do not know about any information or document that would support those accusations in your request.’

“Ieng Sary’s defense lawyer, Mr. Michael Karnavas, wrote in an email on Tuesday that he is disappointed with this response, and he showed how short that less-than-one-page letter is. He said, ‘Worst of all, it is surprising that the response appears as a self-defense, and it does not care to respond to our open and transparent request, which took us more than four months to develop. This defensive response from the Investigating Judges’ Office to our request gives us the unavoidable impression that it is hiding something. Mr. Michael Karnavas explained that, according to the internal discipline at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, defense lawyers cannot appeal against the letter of the investigating judges. The lawyers do not have another choice besides later to ask to revoke the right of Mr. Stephen Heder as an expert directly in front the of Trial Chamber, following the procedures defined in the internal discipline of the tribunal.” Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3775, 4.6.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 4 June 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #201, 4.6.2009

  • A National Airline [Cambodia Angkor Air] Will Be Inaugurated in July [according to Minister of Tourism Thong Khon – but the State Secretariat for Civil Aviation declares to have no information at all about such plans to license a new airline]
  • The Government Will Sue [the president of the Khmer Civilization Foundation] Moeung Son for Publishing Untrue and Provoking Information [over the installation of electric bulbs at the Angkor Wat Temple]
  • Cambodia Plans to Send Soldiers to Join an Exercise in Indonesia

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1961, 4.6.2009

  • Roof Tiles are Blown off by Ferocious Wind from a Police Station Building’s Roof, Making Police to Flee with Fear; There Are Cracks on Some of the Lower Walls, Showing that the Construction Has No Good Quality [Phnom Penh]
  • Trains from Phnom Penh to Battambang Are Used to Transport Illegal Wood
  • The Number of People Infected with AIDS in Cambodia Will Decline [from 67,200 in 2006] to More Than 50,000 People in 2012 [according to the Ministry of Health]
  • In May the Number of Crimes Rose Up to 357 Cases [compared to April with 298 cases]
  • China Rounds Up Opponents and Closes Internet Sites before the 20th Anniversary of the Bloodshed at the Tian An Men Square

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6667, 4.6.2009

  • Two Accused Persons [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian Ms. Mu Sochua, and the editor-in-chief of Khmer Machas Srok, Mr. Hang Chakra, who is accused of publishing untrue information defaming leaders of the government] Appear at the Court over Two Different Cases [Ms. Mu Sochua is questioned about the counter-accusation againsst her by the Prime Minister, while her earlier, own defamation accusation against the Prime Minister has not yet led to calls to the court]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3775, 4.6.2009

  • Foreign Lawyers Do Not Have Trust in the Head of the Victims’ Unit of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal
  • [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian] Mu Sochua Wants to Maintain Her Case Against [Prime Minister] Hun Sen until the End in Order to See What Is Black and What is White

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4911, 4.6.2009

  • Co-Prosecutors Are Waiting for a Decision from the Trial Chamber to Confirm whether to Charge More People
  • The [arrested] Owner of the Labor Export Agency That Did Not Display Their Company Sign Is Freed by Paying US$3,000
  • Pieces of the Air France Plane Are Found, but Dead Bodies Are Not

Have a look at the last editorial – you can access it directly from the main page of the Mirror.

And please recommend us also to your colleagues and friends.


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