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KRT consultant’s resignation was a considered move

Dear Editor,

In his response to your reporter’s question about me, ECCC Co-Investigating Judge Siegfried Blunk indicates I terminated my consultancy services to him and fellow Co-Investigative Judge You Bunleng in reaction to the non-renewal of my contract by their office. This is patently false and misleading.

The facts are as follows: my consultancy was originally set to end on May 31, 2011. On  April 27, I wrote to Judge Blunk asking whether it would be extended.

On April 29, judges Blunk and Bunleng abruptly ended their investigation of Case File 003.

Their act shocked most, if not all, of the UN staff of their office and precipitated consideration by myself and other UN contractees about whether there was any point in continuing to work for them.

On May 1, Judge Blunk wrote to me saying I could expect a contract extension. According to UN Human Resources, he then wrote to that office asking for a new consultancy starting from June 1.

On May 5, however, following further discussions with UN colleagues about the judges’ behaviour, I wrote to Judge Blunk telling him I had decided to cease work.

I explained that I was doing so because, among other things, I had concluded that no good use could, or would, be made of my consultancy services.

It is, of course, possible that on May 4, Judge Blunk reversed his previous decision to initiate a renewal of my contract.

If so, he did not inform me. 

There is thus absolutely no question of my having resigned because of some axe I supposedly had to grind.

As for my post-contractual obligations, I continue to reserve the right of reply to any inaccurate or misleading information published about my work for the ECCC, such as this statement by Judge Blunk, who would be well advised to get his facts straight.

Steve Heder
Lecturer in Southeast Asian politics
School of Oriental and African
Studies, University of London

Send letters to: or PO Box 146, Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The Post reserves the right to edit letters to a shorter length. The views expressed above are solely the author’s and do not reflect any positions taken by The Phnom Penh Post.



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