Khmer Rouge tribunal judge resigns citing political interference

11 October 2011 by Robert Carmichael

Siegfried Blunk, the controversial German co-investigating judge, resigned from the United Nations’-backed Khmer Rouge tribunal Monday saying public comments by Cambodian politicians had made his position untenable.

Blunk, who was in the role 10 months, cited a recent statement by Foreign Minister Hor Namhong. According to the Cambodia Daily newspaper, Hor Namhong said last week it was the government’s job to decide whom the tribunal should arrest. Blunk said that and other comments from politicians could be perceived as interference.

He also quoted Minister of Information Khieu Kanharith, who earlier this year said foreigners who wanted to investigate the tribunal’s third and fourth cases (003 and 004) – which the government has long said it would not permit to proceed – should “pack their bags and leave.”

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