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KRT staff take Duch verdict to Kandal provincial courthouse

Photo by:? Heng Chivoan

In Vanvibol, president of Kandal provincial court (left), and provincial prosecutor Ouk Kimsith (third from left) receive books from tribunal officials at the courthouse yesterday. HENG CHIVOAN

Kandal province
OFFICIALS from the Khmer Rouge tribunal traveled to Kandal provincial court yesterday to deliver copies of the tribunal’s historic first verdict.
The tribunal has long been touted as an example for the Kingdom’s flawed domestic courts, which observers say continue to be marred by political interference and a lack of resources.

Tony Kranh, the tribunal’s acting director of administration, said the 76 prosecutors, judges and clerks assembled at the Kandal court yesterday
could learn more about international law and best practices by reading the 450-page verdict.

“It is the first time using this sort of legal model in the history of the Cambodian court system,” Tony Kranh said.

In Vanvibol, head of the Kandal provincial court, told reporters that court officials would study the judgment from the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, as the tribunal is formally known.

“I think the verdict could become a tool for us apply international justice standards in our province,” In Vanvibol said.

The tribunal has printed 5,000 copies of the judgment along with 17,000 copies of a 36-page summary of the judgment that it plans to distribute in schools and communes across the country. Last week, court officials presented Tuol Sleng prison survivors Bou Meng, Chum Mey and Vann Nath with copies of the judgment in a ceremony at the facility.

“We hope that the way the ECCC has conducted trial proceedings in a fair and transparent manner, up to international standards, would be an inspiration for the local courts,” UN court spokesman Lars Olsen said. “It will be up to the local courts to decide which lessons they can learn from the ECCC.”

Prosecutors at the tribunal announced Monday that they planned to appeal the verdict against former Tuol Sleng prison chief Kaing Guek Eav, alias Duch, charging that his 30-year sentence is too lenient. Defence lawyers have also said they are planning an appeal.

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