Cambodia has officially approved the two UN nominees to the Khmer Rouge tribunal’s Office of the Co-Investigating Judges, the court confirmed yesterday.
The new international co-investigating judge is Mark Harmon, a former prosecutor who worked with current tribunal prosecutor Andrew Cayley at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.
Harmon worked at the ICTY for 17 years, according to a bio posted on the website of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia.
Before that, he was a federal prosecutor in the US Department of Justice and a deputy public defender for Santa Clara County, California.
The UN was officially notified of the appointments on July 12, said UN Special Expert to the Khmer Rouge tribunal David Scheffer in an email.
But “funding issues for the international staff necessitated a delay before the ECCC could make the announcement”, he added, without going into further detail.
The reserve co-investigating judge, according to a statement released yesterday, is Olivier Beauvallet, the second French national to be appointed. The court did not release any biographical information about Beauvallet.
Voice of America Khmer had previously reported at the end of June that the new reserve judge would be Caroline Charpentier, who would have been the fifth female at the 23-judge court.
National Co-Investigating Judge You Bunleng, who refused to work with former reserve investigating judge Laurent Kasper-Ansermet as he was not approved by the Supreme Council of Magistracy, was reached by phone in Australia, but refused to comment on the new appointments.
Harmon is entering an office that others have exited under unfavourable circumstances.
Two judges, Kasper-Ansermet one of them, have resigned in the past year, citing interference, and it is not immediately clear how work can proceed when Prime Minister Hun Sen has voiced opposition to Cases 003 and 004, which have yet to come to court.