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Khmer Rouge scholar not needed

Democratic Kampuchea scholar Ben Kiernan has proven himself an “uncooperative” witness whose body of work on the Khmer Rouge amounts to “little if any probative value”, frustrated judges at the Khmer Rouge tribunal said in a memorandum dated June 13.

The Yale professor of history and director of the Ivy League college’s genocide studies program, originally told the court he was “too busy” to give testimony in its landmark Case 002 until sometime in 2013, and then only by videolink.

Kiernan, who built his international reputation and success upon his expertise on Democratic Kampuchea, had since been ignoring requests of the chamber to schedule his testimony at a more practicable time and in a more efficient way.

“In reality, the ECCC has few practical means at its disposal to compel the attendance of an uncooperative witness,” the judges said. “It follows from the Trial Chamber’s inability to call Professor Kiernan, that his conclusions can have little if any probative value in Case 002.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Bridget Di Certo at bridget.dicerto@phnompenhpost.com

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