Search

Search form

New suspects on the horizon?

New suspects on the horizon?

There has been a good deal of buzz lately that Co-Prosecutors at the ECCC are close to deciding whether they will pursue additional suspects. The number of former Khmers Rouge who will go before the tribunal has long been a point of contention and speculation, and critics of the court argue that the scope of prosecutions has been artificially constrained by Prime Minister Hun Sen.

Suspects in addition to the five already in custody have been identified (though not publicly). However, international and Cambodian Co-Prosecutors have reportedly been unable to decide whether to pursue charges against them.

According to a recent story posted by the Inter Press Service, between two to six additional suspects are under consideration. But pursuing new prosecutions could be tricky.

For example, Sou Met and Meah Muth, high-ranking Khmer Rouge military officials mentioned in Stephen Heder's Seven Candidates for Prosecution, went on to hold senior positions in the current Cambodian army, according to the IPS article.

Moreover, "one problem with including these two as prime suspects is that it extends the scope considerably beyond the highest bodies of the Centre, raising the question of how many others held equal rank and would therefore logically be included as prime suspects," Helen Jarvis and Tom Fawthrop write in Getting away with Genocide? Elusive Justice and the Khmer Rouge Tribunal.

Still, to demonstrate the court's independence from Cambodian political influence and to more accurately reflect the country's history, Co-Prosecutors should name additional suspects, Beth Van Schaack writes in her commentary Who's Next?

"Were the Extraordinary Chambers to limit their consideration to these five suspects, they would paint an inaccurate and stilted picture of the way in which crimes were committed under the Khmer Rouge," she writes. "... academic research suggests that Khmer Rouge cadre were given considerable discretion to implement the sometime cryptic directives emanating from the Standing Committee."

While I don't know how close Co-Prosecutors truly are to deciding about additional suspects, I will post as soon as I have any information.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all