Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Filing eyes second chamber

Filing eyes second chamber

Filing eyes second chamber

An October filing posted to the Khmer Rouge tribunal’s website on Wednesday could pave the way for the creation of a second panel of trial chamber judges – a measure that could allow Case 002’s next sub-trial to proceed even as the first panel deliberates its verdict in the case’s first.

Several questions had previously been raised about the feasibility of such a panel at the often cash-strapped tribunal, including in a September 18 filing from deputy director of the Office of Administration Knut Rosandhaug to the Supreme Court Chamber.

However, the October 31 filing, signed by both Rosandhaug and his national-side superior, office director Tony Kranh, made no mention of these questions, saying the office was prepared to implement any decision regarding the creation of a new panel.

“The Office of Administration has reviewed administrative and financial implications of an establishment of a second panel of judges within the Trial Chamber – and confirms its readiness to support any decision made by the Supreme Court Chamber or the Trial Chamber to duly complete the judicial process in Case 002,” the filing reads.

Rosandhaug’s September memo questioned whether the agreement that formed the court – which stipulates the number of judges – would have to be amended to allow for a second panel, and whether the current panel would face a conflict of interest hearing Case 002/02 after having decided on 002/01.

It also touched on the expense associated with a new chamber.

“The constitution of a second panel … would, of course, give rise to budgetary implications,” Rosandhaug’s memo reads. “A question that arises, therefore, is whether the relevant ECCC judicial authorities consider that these budgetary implications would be off-set by the greater speed and efficiency in moving the Case 002 judicial process forward, or not.”

Court legal communications officer Lars Olsen said yesterday that if the Supreme Court Chamber had addressed the questions in the September memo, its response “has not been made public”.

Olsen also noted that, while the 2014-2015 court budget requested by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon did not contain funds for a second panel, “if there will be an additional second panel, obviously the budget will be revised accordingly”.

Long Panhavuth, a program officer with the Cambodian Justice Initiative, said yesterday that he didn’t believe the current judges would have a conflict of interest in sitting on Case 002/02, but that the court’s decision-making and financial issues should be discussed publicly.

“The donors need to say publicly whether or not they are going to [give] additional funding to the court [for a second panel], so they can manage expectations,” he said.

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