Cambodia’s troubled tribunal

25 May 2011 by Jared Ferrie

Cambodia’s troubled tribunal has suffered further setbacks in recent weeks as a series of public disputes pitted officials against one another. The spats escalated quickly and dramatically with co-prosecutors issuing opposing statements and investigative judges reportedly threatening the international co-prosecutor with contempt of court.

The disagreements involve a prospective case that the government strongly opposes even though prosecutors say they have sufficient evidence to charge a further five former Khmer Rouge officials. Critics accuse the court’s investigative section of bowing to political pressure by failing to carry out proper investigations, thereby increasing the likelihood that the case will be dropped.

Theary Seng, an activist and founder of the Centre for Justice and Reconciliation, said infighting and political interference could prevent the court from fulfilling its mandate. She called for intervention by international donors and UN headquarters to “salvage” the UN-backed court.

“At this pace, the tribunal is heading for an irreparable crash,” said Seng, whose parents were killed by the Khmer Rouge.

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

Related articles

21 December 2011 by Thijs Bouwknegt

Being the ICC's Chief Prosecutor is a delicate and politically sensitivejob.ForLuisMorenoOcampo it has been "the best job in the world." Fatou Bensouda will be taking over his office in June. She inhe

07 December 2011 by Thijs Bouwknegt

December 7, 2011 Ivory Coast is the latest playgroundoftheInternationalCriminal Court. This week the courtroom in The Hague became its theatre of justice. Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo proudly p

07 December 2011 by Richard Walker

Four Congolese witnesses testifying at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, find themselves caught in a legal wrangle, which could at once set a legal precedent and make them the last

07 December 2011 by Lindy Janssen

Brazil is booming. The economy is expanding and the country is getting ready to host the Football World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016. But the Latin American giant has not even begun dealing wi

07 December 2011 by Radosa Milutinovic

The primary purpose of the retrial of Ramush Haradinaj, as proclaimed by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in its appeal judgement in July, should have been to hear testimonies of two "key" witnesses who proved unwilling to testify in the original trial in 2007. Almost four months into the retrial which started in mid-August, its stated aim has not yet been achieved.