News / Asia

Key Prosecutor Quits UN-Backed Cambodia War Crimes Tribunal

International prosecutor Andrew Cayley (2010 file photo)International prosecutor Andrew Cayley (2010 file photo)
x
International prosecutor Andrew Cayley (2010 file photo)
International prosecutor Andrew Cayley (2010 file photo)
Robert Carmichael
The international prosecutor at Cambodia’s embattled Khmer Rouge tribunal has quit. The resignation of Andrew Cayley, who was appointed to the post in December 2009, comes as the court prepares closing arguments in its first mini-trial of two surviving Khmer Rouge leaders.
 
British national Andrew Cayley told VOA that it was no secret he was planning to resign this year, but said he was leaving now for personal and professional reasons. He did not elaborate and said his resignation will not affect the ongoing prosecutions under his authority.
 
Cayley’s departure, which is effective September 16, comes at a crucial time in the court’s prosecution of two surviving Khmer Rouge leaders: Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan.
 
Nuon Chea was Pol Pot’s deputy, while Khieu Samphan was head of state of the regime that is believed responsible for the deaths of two million people between 1975 and 1979.
 
The trial of the elderly defendants - known as Case 002 - is so complex that the court divided it into a number of smaller trials. The first of those mini-trials concluded in July. Since then the prosecution, the defense and the lawyers for the civil parties have been preparing their closing submissions.
 
All are scheduled to file their submissions later this month, with the court due to hear arguments in October. A judgment is expected next year.
 
Cayley said that process, as far as the prosecution was concerned, remained on track.
 
“What I’ve done in the past month - which I undertook to the UN to do - is I’ve put in place measures basically that the case will continue to a proper conclusion," said Cayley. "Our written submissions are almost complete and will be ready to be filed on the 26th of September. So yes, it’s not an ideal situation, but certainly the office is well prepared for my departure. And the office is not just about me - it’s about a whole team of people working together, and me departing is not going to affect the quality of the work.”
 
Cayley’s departure also comes as the court is dealing with a strike by Cambodian staff. They walked out a week ago after having not been paid since May. The strike could delay the court’s efforts to hear closing submissions by the end of October.
 
Under the rules of this hybrid tribunal, the Cambodian government is responsible for finding the funds to pay national staff - but it says it cannot afford to do so.
 
The United Nations’ role is to fund the international side. But in recent weeks U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has warned that the court could collapse, and asked countries to donate the three million dollars needed to keep the national side running until the end of the year.
 
Although salaries for international staff are not affected, Cayley says the funding crisis has made the lives of his Cambodian co-workers difficult.
 
“Looking at my national colleagues, it’s not just critical for the functioning of the court; it’s actually critical to their lives," said Cayley. "These are people who haven’t been paid for several months, and they have families that need to be supported. That’s why I think it needs to be resolved as quickly as possible.”
 
Despite the litany of problems that have affected the tribunal, Cayley believes it will deliver some measure of justice for the Cambodian people.
 
“Frankly, actually, I don’t really leave here with any disappointments. You know, the court is what it is," said Cayley. "It has the challenges that it has. It’s still here - and hopefully will be here to finish the work that it has left. I hope at the end of it all the Cambodian people find some level of relief and satisfaction in what the court has produced and will produce.”
 
Cayley’s replacement is U.S. lawyer Nicholas Koumjian, who has worked previously at the Special Court for Sierra Leone and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. Koumjian is scheduled to arrive in Cambodia next month.

You May Like

Video Experts Warn World Losing Ebola Fight

Doctors Without Borders says world is losing battle against Ebola, unless wealthy nations dispatch specialized biological disaster response teams More

Video Experts: Rise of Islamic State Significant Development in Jihadism

Many analysts contend the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years More

US-Based Hong Kongers Pledge Support for Pro-Democracy Activists

Democracy advocates call on Chinese living abroad to join them in opposing new election rules for their home territory More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid