News / Asia

Prosecutors Disagree on Cambodia War Crimes Tribunal’s Next Case

Tourist looks at portraits of former Khmer Rouge leaders Ieng Sary (R), 84, ex-foreign minister, his wife Ieng Thirith, 78, former minister of social welfare (2nd L), former prison chief Kaing Guek Eav (R), better known as Duch, former President Khieu Sam
Tourist looks at portraits of former Khmer Rouge leaders Ieng Sary (R), 84, ex-foreign minister, his wife Ieng Thirith, 78, former minister of social welfare (2nd L), former prison chief Kaing Guek Eav (R), better known as Duch, former President Khieu Sam
Robert Carmichael

Prosecutors at the Khmer Rouge war crimes tribunal in Phnom Penh are at odds this week after investigating judges said they have completed their work on their third case - reportedly against two senior former military commanders. In Phnom Penh, critics accuse the government of interfering in the high-profile prosecutions.

The war crimes tribunal has long been split over how many former Khmer Rouge cases it should prosecute.

The international prosecutor Andrew Cayley said last year that he expected to see no more than 10 people stand trial for their alleged roles in the deaths of around two million people during the movement’s rule of Cambodia between 1975 and 1979.

But his Cambodian counterpart, Chea Leang, has opposed prosecuting more than five people. The first of those was the former security chief Comrade Duch, whom the court last year convicted of war crimes and crimes against humanity. His sentence is under appeal.

The other four, who make up Case Two, are the movement’s last surviving senior leaders. Their trial is expected to start later this year.

But while those cases are moving forward, the Cambodian government has long opposed prosecuting Cases Three and Four - involving the five remaining suspects.

The prosecution is tasked with assessing the court’s investigation and determining whether or not there is enough evidence to proceed to trial.

This week international prosecutor Andrew Cayley said it is clear that much more work is needed on Case Three.

“If you’re asking me how much more investigation needs to be done, I would simply use the words 'a significant amount' of investigation is still left to be done in that case,” Cayley said.

Cambodia remains an authoritarian country and the government’s opposition to Cases Three and Four has had a chilling effect on the tribunal’s Cambodian staff, most of whom have refused to work on the cases.

This week the investigating judges in Case Three closed their investigation and handed the case file back to the prosecution.

“I don’t consider that the investigation is concluded and I’ve asked for a number of steps to be taken including the interviewing of the suspects who are named in the introductory submission," Andrew Cayley said as he explained what work is still needed, "and a number of other steps including investigation of crime sites also originally named by the prosecution in the introductory submission, which haven’t been investigated at all.”

Cayley’s comments appear to confirm widespread rumors that the investigating judges did very little work on Case Three.

But Cayley’s Cambodian counterpart, Chea Leang, later released a press statement recommending that Case Three be closed.

Chea Leang said she had examined the case file, and decided that the unnamed suspects were not senior leaders and were not among those most responsible for crimes committed by the Khmer Rouge - the two categories that define those whom the court can prosecute.

With the Cambodian prosecutor, the government and the investigating judges all pushing to close Case Three, outside observers doubt that the prosecution will go forward.

International prosecutor Andrew Cayley’s last option for Case Three is to appeal its closure to a bench of five judges. Three of the judges are Cambodian and trial observers believe the bench would likely vote to dismiss the case.

You May Like

Turkey's Erdogan: Women Not Equal to Men

Speaking at conference in Istanbul, President Erdogan says Islam has defined a position for women: motherhood More

Ahead of SAARC Summit, Subdued Expectations

Some regional analysts say distrust between Pakistani, Indian officials has slowed SAARC's progress over the year More

Philippines Leery of Development on Reef Reclamation in S. China Sea

Chinese land reclamation projects in area have been ongoing for years, but new satellite imagery reportedly shows China’s massive construction project More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Changei
X
November 24, 2014 10:09 PM
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid