News / Asia

Analysts: UN-Cambodia Trial Agreement Positive Step

FILE - Cambodian villagers line up at an entrance before the final statements from Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan at the U.N.-backed war crimes tribunal in Phnom Penh.
FILE - Cambodian villagers line up at an entrance before the final statements from Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan at the U.N.-backed war crimes tribunal in Phnom Penh.
A new commitment from the U.N. and Cambodia to continue their support for the Khmer Rouge genocide trials is being called a positive sign by analysis, including some who still have reservations about the likely outcome of the trials.

In a meeting last week between the U.N.’s top legal diplomat, Miguel de Serpa Soares, and Cambodian Cabinet Minister Sok An, the two sides agreed to continue to fund the court and cooperate on conducting trials.
 
The U.N.-backed court has faced ongoing financial woes in recent months as it seeks to conclude the initial trial of two aging Khmer Rouge leaders.

The Cambodian side of the hybrid court has faced ongoing criticism of mismanagement, corruption and political interference. The court itself has handed down only one conviction since its inception in 2006.

John Ciorciari, a professor of public policy at the University of Michigan and co-author of a new book, "Hybrid Justice," says the agreement should restore confidence from international donors and is a sign for the tribunal to move on to other cases.

“The timing is perfect for both sides to cooperate now because there is something that both want and that is for the court's next phase of operation to go smoothly, the phase leading to the first verdict in case 002,” he said.

But Peter Maguire, author of “Facing Death in Cambodia,” says that while the agreement is a positive development, he is cautious about the prospects for further trials because of the age of the elderly Khmer Rouge leaders.

"I think it’s a very positive thing and you know if the U.N. can move faster, they can at least complete parts of these trials within the lifetime of the defendants. As far as further trials, I am not optimistic,” he said.

Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan, both in their 80s, are the only senior Khmer Rouge leaders alive and considered fit to stand trial.

The first phase of the trial, dealing with the forced evacuation of Phnom Penh in April 1975, concluded in October. Both defendants deny the charges against them and a verdict is not expected until later this year. The scope of the second phase has not yet been determined.

Youk Chhang, Executive Director of the Documentation Center of Cambodia, said it is not clear how future cases will go forward.

"The investigations seem to be getting very long and without a clear strategy to finish when," said Chhang. "That is the tricky part. Even though both sides are now in agreement to work together, this still remains to be worked out between the two parties. So I urged [the] two parties to quickly establish an exit strategy as soon as it can be done.”

Sum Rithy, one of the rare survivors from a notorious Khmer Rouge prison, says he still holds out hope that justice will be done.

“As I have said for a long time, the process of trying Khmer Rouge leaders will not be inactive or die away, "said Rithy. "The U.N. and Cambodia are making efforts to find justice for the victims of the Khmer Rouge regime.”

As many as two million Cambodians died from starvation, overwork and executions during the four-year rule of the Khmer Rouge, which attempted to create an agrarian communist utopia.

The group's leader, Pol Pot, died in 1998 and co-founder Ieng Sary died earlier this year.

Former Khmer Rouge prison chief Kaing Guek Eav, better known as "Duch," was sentenced last year to life in prison for his role in killing more than 14,000 while running the Tuol Sleng torture and execution center in Phnom Penh.

This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Khmer service.

You May Like

Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Seen as a potential driver of recovery, Cairo’s plan to expand waterway had been raising hopes to give country much needed economic boost More

Ebola Maternity Ward in Sierra Leone First of its Kind

Country already had one of world's highest maternal mortality rates before Ebola arrived, virus has added even more complications to health care More

Malaysia Flight 370 Disappearance Ruled Accident

Aircraft disappeared on March 8, 2014; with ruling, families of 239 passengers and crew can now seek compensation from airline More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: bbun from: Canada
February 03, 2014 7:01 PM
In the name of Cambodia pple I would like to thank UN for making great effort in trying to find justice for all Cambodia people.With out your assistance Cambodia will never unearth those criminals who are still in power today. Cambodian has suffer ed many decades now and demoncracy is getting better every but very slowly in progress... Hopefully one day all Khmer will united again as it was the rein of Jayavaraman VII if it was able back then then it would be very possible in our modern time...Due to our corrupted, selfishness, careless and shareless leaders, Khmer lost great territories its pride!
But this young generation has inverted from great desparation to a great hope for better futur...
Thank to all nations around the globe for helping Cambodia to find real demoncratic government one day in the near future...
Glod bless Cambodia.
BB


by: Bob from: Canada
February 03, 2014 4:10 PM
Thank you Un. You are the hope and trusted orgsnization for the Cambodia people in order to find real justicr for them.
Thz

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Webi
X
January 29, 2015 9:58 AM
Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video As Ground Shifts, Obama Reviews Middle East Strategy

The death of Saudi Arabia’s king, the collapse of a U.S.-friendly government in Yemen and a problematic relationship with Israel’s leadership are presenting a new set of complications for the Obama administration and its Middle East policy. Not only is the U.S. leader dealing with adversaries in Iran, the Islamic State and al-Qaida, but he is now juggling trouble with traditional allies, as White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Saved By a Mistake - an Auschwitz Survivor's Story

Dagmar Lieblova was 14 when she arrived at Auschwitz in December 1943, along with her entire Czech Jewish family. All of them were to die there, but she was able to leave after several months due to a bureaucratic mix-up which saved her life. Now 85, with three children and six grandchildren, she says she has a feeling of victory. This report by Ahmad Wadiei and Farin Assemi, of RFE/RL's Radio Farda is narrated by RFE’s Raymond Furlong.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid