Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Judge to quit court

Judge to quit court

Judge to quit court

Duch, the verdict

Photo by: Tracey Shelton
International Co-investigating judge Marcel Lemonde at an outreach event in Pailin in early 2008.

AS the Khmer Rouge tribunal marked the issuance of indictments in its second case yesterday, French Co-Investigating Judge Marcel Lemonde announced that he would be stepping down from his critical position after a four-year tenure.

“I ... am passing the baton to someone else,” Lemonde said yesterday at a press conference announcing indictments in Case 002.

“I have other long-standing plans that I cannot now ignore.”

Siegfriend Blunk, who currently serves as reserve Investigating Judge, will take over Lemonde’s position later this year, as the court moves forward with pending investigations in its third and fourth cases.

Lemonde has been pursuing these investigations on his own after his Cambodian counterpart, You Bunleng, declined to sign off on the investigations in June. Defence lawyers sought to have You Bunleng removed after the incident, saying that the uniform opposition among the court’s Cambodian staff to further investigations was the result of political interference.

You Bunleng explained in June that he believed the court should focus on the second case before proceeding with others. But with the Case 002 investigation concluded, his position on the issue remained elusive. “The matter of Case 003 and 004 will be addressed,” You Bunleng said. “We will update the public on a regular basis when these matters are being considered.”

Lemonde himself has also been the subject of challenges from defence lawyers, who charged last year that comments allegedly made by the judge demonstrated a bias towards the prosecution.

Defence lawyers also said that he had breached the confidentiality of the investigation by allowing a documentary crew to film witness interviews, and that the international staff of the Office of the Co-Investigating Judges had withheld information from the Cambodian staff.


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