A tweeting judge in a twisted case

21 December 2011 by Julia Wallace

At 2:14 pm on December 6, Laurent Kasper-Ansermet issued a statement announcing that he had arrived in Phnom Penh to take up his duties as the international co- investigatingjudgeattheExtraordinary Ch

At 2:14 pm on December 6, Laurent Kasper-Ansermet issued a statement announcing that he had arrived in Phnom Penh to take up his duties as the international co- investigatingjudgeattheExtraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC). At 4:08 pm, his Cambodian co- investigating judge,You Bunleng, issued a hostile counter-statement, informing the public that Kasper-Ansermet's work was "not legally valid" - because the Swiss judge had not yet been formally appointed by the government. Kasper-Ansermet's arrival had been eagerly anticipated for nearly two months, since his predecessor's barely 11-month tenure collapsed in a frenzy of dysfunction and allegations of judicial misconduct in mid-October. That predecessor, Siegfried Blunk, inherited an unenviable burden when he took office last December: carrying out an investigation into two cases known as 003 and 004. These are virulently opposed by the Cambodian government and by the country's strongman prime minister, Hun Sen. Blunk and Bunleng closed their investigation into Case 003 without interviewing the suspects - the commanders of the Khmer Rouge air force and navy.

Want to read more?

If you subscribe to a free membership, you can read this article and explore our full archive, dating back to 1997.

Subscribe now