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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Judges silent on 004 request

Judges silent on 004 request

The Khmer Rouge Tribunal co-investigating judges have yet to respond to a request from international co-prosecutor Andrew Cayley that they publicise information about crimes under investigation in the court’s controversial fourth case.

In a statement issued on Friday, Cayley said that on July 28 he had requested that co-investigating judges Siegfried Blunk and You Bunleng release information “describing the crimes and offences under investigation in Case 004” by August 5.

According to the request, a Pre-Trial Chamber ruling in Case 002 in June had ruled that the co-investigating judges were legally obliged to keep victims informed about crimes under investigation “throughout the proceedings”.

“The purpose of this requirement is to ensure that victims have a reasonable opportun-ity to file civil-party applicat-ions based on the specific crimes under investigation in a particular case,” Cayley said in the statement.

He told the Post yesterday that the co-investigating judges had not yet responded to his request. Court spokesman Lars Olsen said that, to his knowledge, the co-investigating judges had not issued a response to Cayley’s statement.

“It is generally up to the co-investigating judges  … to determine what information can be made public,” he said.

Last Wednesday, Cayley announced he would appeal against a decision by the co-investigating judges rejecting his request for further investigat-ion into the court’s third case.

After the judges announced in April that their investigat-ion into Case 003 was closed, they denied Cayley’s request for further investigation, stating that he had not formally registered disagreement on the issue with national co-prosecutor Chea Leang. Cayley’s statement revealed that he had re-filed the request, but it was rejected by the judges on July 27, leaving him with 30 days to appeal.

The co-investigating judges have come under fire in recent months over their apparent failure to properly investigate Case 003, involving two Khmer Rouge military commanders.

Case 003 and Case 004, which involves three mid-level Khmer Rouge officials, have been opposed by Cambodian officials, including Chea Leang.

“My impression is that [the court] wants to create civil party or victim-free cases,” civil-party lawyer Silke Studzinsky said yesterday, adding that civil-party lawyers had been denied access to files for Cases 003 and 004.



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