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KRT appointment overdue: monitor

The failure of Cambodian authorities to officially appoint international reserve co-investigating judge Laurent Kasper-Ansermet to his position at the Khmer Rouge tribunal is hampering progress in the court’s third and fourth cases, an independent monitoring group said yesterday.

In a statement released yesterday, the New York-based Open Society Justice Initiative called for the  Supreme Council of Magistracy’s immediate appointment of Laurent Kasper-Ansermet to the position of full co-invesigating judge.

“Contrary to previous practice, the Cambodian government has continued to stall on providing formal approval, effectively leaving the judicial investigations in a state of limbo,” OSJI said in the statement.

Justice Minister Ang Vong Vathana, municipal court president Chiv Keng and Appeal Court prosecutor Uk Savuth, who are all members of the Supreme Council of Magistracy, could not be reached for comment.

OSJI also urged the UN and the court’s donors to “publicly insist” on the immediate endorsement of Judge Kasper-Ansermet as full co-investigating judge. Martin Nesirky, spokesman for the UN Office of the Secretary-General, declined comment yesterday.

On Monday, Kasper-Ansermet revealed that National Co-Investigating Judge You Bunleng had disagreed with him about the release of “important” information regarding cases 003 and 004, in a statement released by the court.

Judge Bunleng has stated that Judge Kasper-Ansermet does not yet have the legal authority to take action regarding cases 003 and 004.

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