The Khmer Rouge Tribunal Has to Open Access to Information Broadly – Monday, 22.12.2008

Posted on 23 December 2008. Filed under: Week 592 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 592

“To be a model for the world, the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, created by the Phnom Penh government and by the United Nations, should have a broader access to information, or make it at least comparable to the tribunal, supported by the United Nations which convicted the initiator of the genocide in Rwanda.

“Early last week, some civil society organizations, observing the process of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, had presented strong recommendations, asking for open and broad access to information at this tribunal, emphasizing, ‘The public should be aware of the progress of the confidential investigations carried out by the tribunal.’

“This recommendation, one among four recommendations presented by civil society organizations, including the Cambodian Defenders Project, the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association – ADHOC, the Khmer Institute for Democracy, the Cambodian Justice Initiative (which is a section of the Social Justice Initiative), is said to help improve the potential of the tribunal.

“The civil society organizations said, ‘The fact that the accused are still in custody during the investigation processes results in a demand for public information about the status of the investigation processes.’

“This statement added, ‘If the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia have to provide positive examples for the judicial system in Cambodia, this court has to guarantee transparency immediately, and strengthen the involvement and discussion with different non-government organizations again.

“Other recommendations relate to the monitoring by the United Nations side of the court, by the UN law office which brings the leaders of both side, Cambodia and the United Nations, together at the administration of this court, and finally, pointing to the important role of donors for the management of the funds provided to the court.

“The head of the Public Affairs Office at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, Ms. Helen Jarvis, said that recently, the court conducted two events published through television, about the decisions of two hearings of the court and also a joint statement by the co-prosecutors was issued.

“She added, ‘It is absolutely surprising that they talked about a lack of transparency.’

“The coordinator of the Cambodian Justice Initiative, Mr. Long Panhavuth, said that the long process of investigations by the tribunal make the publics tired, as it is still not possible to predict what the court really continues to do, especially when the rest of the hearings will start.

“Mr. Long Panhavuth asked, ‘How many witnesses have the co-prosecutors interviewed during this month? How many times did the investigators travel to investigate something at other places during this month? The publics want to know these things.’

“’A good experience for Khmer compatriots and for the Khmer Tribunal will be the trial of the former Tuol Sleng Prison chief Kaing Gek Eav, called Duch, early in 2009. We would like to show the activities of a tribunal supported by the United Nations that convicted a man, who is accused to be the initiator of the genocide in Rwanda in 1994, which led to the killing of around 800,000 people, to spend the rest of his life in prison.’

“On Thursday, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda – ICTR – announced that Théoneste Bagosora was convicted for ‘genocide, crimes against humanity, and for war crimes.’

“If the Khmer Rouge Tribunal is really independent, we believe that information about the different investigations by the co-prosecutors and by the co-judges should not be hidden further, but it must be rather be broadly open, so that the public can know it.” Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.309, #, 21-23.12.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Monday, 22 December 2008

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1826, 21-22.12.2008

  • The Co-prosecutors Rejected a Request to Release Khiev Samphan [a former Khmer Rouge leader out on bail, on the grounds that his lawyer’s request is against legal procedures of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal]
  • Bird Flu Patient [from Kandal] Recovers and Leaves Calmette Hospital
  • North Korea Accused South Korea of Sending an Agent to Assassinate [North Korean President] Mr. Kim Jong Il
  • South Korea Withdraws All Troops from Iraq
  • Medals Sent to US FBI and IRS Agents Who Helped Cambodia to Break the ‘Cambodian Freedom Fighters’ Case
  •  

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #309, 21-23.12.2008

  • The Khmer Rouge Tribunal Has to Open Access to Information Broadly
  • [Phnom Penh governor] Kep Chuktema Is More Powerful Than the Court – He Dares to Pardon Vang Sreyno [a well-known film star, who caused an accident, damaging the lion statue at Samdech Preah Sanghareach Chuon Nath Memorial, but sent a letter of apology to the municipal governor]

 
Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #164, 21-22.12.2008

  • Minority Tribespeople Burnt Machinery of the Khov Chily Company after One-Week of Protests Failed [against land clearance of tribal land by the company – Bousra commune, Pechr Chenda, Mondolkiri]
  • The Municipality Will Receive a Loan for the Phnom Penh Municipality [for public lighting in the city – according to Governor Kep Chuktema who just returned from France]
  • The 53rd Anniversary That Cambodia Became a Member of the United Nations Will Be Celebrated This Morning [21 December 2008]
     

Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6531, 22.12.2008

  • A Journalist [of a not well-known newspaper, Kampuchea Pachobon] Was Arrested for Being Involved in Gold Shop Robberies in Pursat, Disgracing Other Journalists
  • The Proposed Composition of the Thai Government Was Accepted by the King; [Prime Minister] Abhisit Vejjajiva’s Government Has 36 Members
  • The United States of America Will Send 30,000 More Troops to Afghanistan

 
Rasmei Angkor, Vol.15, #1393, 22.12.2008

  • A Chinese Man, Who Cruelly Kidnapped a Chinese Woman in Central Phnom Penh, Was Subdued [the woman was injured because the kidnapper stabbed her cheek]

 
Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4774, 21-22.12.2008

  • Journalists in the Asia Pacific Region Request Governments, Journalists Organizations, and Other Relevant Bodies to Care about Their Safety [from 1996 to 2008, there were more than 1,400 journalists worldwide murdered, where at least 125 of them died in the Asia Pacific Region – according to a two-day meeting of journalists in Jakarta, Indonesia]
  • In Cambodia, a Frog Species Was Found with Green Blood and with Dark Blue Bones, Phnom Kravanh Mountain Region [according to Fauna and Flora International]
  • A Car Hit a Truck from Behind, Decapitating the Car Driver and the Head Fell on the Ground [Pursat]
    Scanner “Multibarette 64” [a heart scanner which costs nearly US$1.5 million] Installed at the Calmette Hospital
  • Cambodia and the United States of America Announce to Continue Cooperation Between Their Law Enforcement Forces

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

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Friday, 10.10.2008: Elections to Choose a President of the Bar Association, on 16 October 2008, Might Face Crisis

Posted on 11 October 2008. Filed under: Week 581 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 581

“During every election to choose a president for the Bar Association in Cambodia, there were always harsh confrontations because of disagreements, that led one person who had lost an elections not to agree to hand over the position to the winner of the election. Because of the previous challenges related to the position of president of the Bar Association, the Bar Association is very careful, being afraid that similar problems might appear again during the elections for a new president of the Bar Association

“Members of the Bar Association of the Kingdom of Cambodia, who stand as new candidates for the position of president, are very agitated and anxious, because they want the elections to come soon, so that they know who is competent to be the new-term president of the Bar Association to replace Ky Tech, who is the present president of the Bar Association of the Kingdom of Cambodia.

“A member of the Bar Association, who asked not to be named, reported that the elections to choose a new president of the Bar Association will be held at the Hotel Cambodiana on 16 October 2008 with more than 500 lawyers attending. Ky Tech is not allowed to stand again as a candidate for the election of a president for the Bar Association.

“The restriction by the Bar Association [regulations] for Ky Tech to stand again as a candidate for the forthcoming elections for a new president of the Bar Association of the Kingdom of Cambodia leaves some people, who support Ky Tech, unhappy, because when Ky Tech is no longer president of the Bar Association, they will loose their backing. Even Ky Tech himself is unhappy with the restriction for him to stand again as a candidate for another new term.

“Sources from the Bar Association said that the following persons are candidates for the election of a new president of the Bar Association: 1. Nou Tepirith, 2. Khieu Sophal, 3. Puth Theavy, 4. Ouk Phouri, and 5. Chiv Song Hak. The five candidates have two days or 48 hours to lobby the members to support them before the elections.

“A candidate said that the upcoming elections for a new president of the Bar Association are essential. If lawyers are not independent and do not take a moral position, it creates an impossible situation; therefore, whichever candidate is elected, that person must transparently and independently work for the Bar Association.

“Previously, the Bar Association was not very independent, which caused some harsh and disorderly situations in the Bar Association. Another problem was that some government officials and politicians infiltrated the Bar Association, previously led by Ky Tech; moreover there was also discrimination and nepotism.

“It should be noted that after the elections in 2004, Ky Tech, the president of the Bar Association of the Kingdom of Cambodia, did not hand over his position to Mr. Suon Visal, who had won the elections, creating a conflictive situation which was a heavy burden on the Bar Association.” Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3584, 10.10.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 10 October 2008


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1764, 10.10.2008

  • Siam [Thailand] Puts More Troops and Canons in Front of the Preah Vihear Temple
  • Burmese Ambassador to Cambodia [Mr. Aung Naing, 61] Died from Illness in SOS Hospital [8 October 2008]
  • Mr. Rong Chhun [president of the Cambodian Independent Teachers’ Association] Announces to Demonstrate against the Siamese [Thai] Prime Minister [who plans to visit Cambodia on 13 October 2008]


Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.1, #260, 10.10.2008

  • Sam Rainsy Party Parliamentarians Do Not Move to Become Members of the Commissions of the National Assembly [because the Cambodian People’s Party did not discuss the nominations for the composition of the National Assembly’s leaders with the Sam Rainsy Party]


Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #113, 10.10.2008

  • The Cambodian Mine Action Center Announced to Seek Aid for Mine Clearance [annually, between US$10 and US$11 million is spent to clear around 27 square kilometers from land mines]
  • The Open Society Justice Initiative Requests Donor Countries of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal to Set Conditions so that There Is No Corruption [a brief press statement is here – the full 17 pages document “Recent Developments at the ECCC: October 2008” can be downloaded there by a mouse click on the icon presented there]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6469, 10.10.2008

  • During the First Nine Months, the Number of International Tourists Increased by 10.11% Compared with 2007 [to 1,389,557]


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3584, 10.10.2008

  • Elections to Choose a President of the Bar Association, on 16 October 2008, Might Face Crisis
  • Because of Tense Situation in Siam [Thailand], Khmer Workers Rush to Return Home
  • [Funcinpec Secretary-General] Nhek Bun Chhay Asks Hun Sen to Nominate Former Secretaries of State and Under Secretaries of State [from Funcinpec] as Advisors


Rasmei Angkor, Vol.15, #1368, 10.10.2008

  • [A 17 year-old] Youth Was Rolled Over by a Truck, Completely Destroying His Body into Pieces of Flesh that Could Not Be Recognized [Dangkao, Phnom Penh]


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4712, 10.10.2008

  • The National Assembly Recognized Seventeen Newly-Elected Parliaments from the Cambodian People’s Party to Replace Those [from the CPP] Who Had Resigned [because they were appointed to ministerial positions – and the validity of the three elected members from the Human Rights Party as members of the National Assembly was also established – after a special swearing-in ceremony for all, presided over by the King]
  • The Appeals Court Sentenced a Russian Millionaire [Alexander Trofimov, 41] to Serve Six Years Imprisonment for Sexually Assaulting Children under the Age of Fifteen [reducing the original sentence of 13 years imprisonment we had reported on 14.3.2008]
  • Thai Army Commander-in-Chief [General Anupong Paochinda] Promised Not to Make a Coup [after the worst turmoil on 7 October 2008]


Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3422, 10.10.2008

  • Phnom Penh Authorities Warn about Plans to Demonstrate during the Siamese [Thai] Prime Minister’s Visit [according to the Phnom Penh Police Chief Touch Naruth]

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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