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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Loopholes, KR law

Loopholes, KR law

The United Nations' concerns about the KR tribunal law were communicated in a Jan

9 letter from UN Chief Hans Correl to Minister of the Council of Ministers Sok An.

The letter consisted of a list of changes imposed unilaterally by the Cambodian government

on the original draft agreed upon by Corell and Sok An.

Corell specifically requested that Sok An inform the Cambodian Senate of the UN's

concerns prior to the Senate debate on the bill.

Sok An did not agree to that request. Highlights of the UN letter are contained


Articles 11, 21 & 27

It should be made clear that only foreign judges or prosecutors can be appointed

to substitute for the one's originally appointed.

Articles 24, 27 & 35

There is not reference to the fact that the accused shall be entitled to counsel

of his own choosing. This is a fundamental human right, as reflected in Article 14

of the International Covenant in Civil and Political Rights. We would therefore insist

that this language be re-introduced in the law.

Article 31

It is indicated that the [tribunal's] Deputy Director will be appointed by the

Royal Government of Cambodia. In our discussion, we made it very clear to the Cambodian

delegation that the individual who fills this position will be a UN staff member

and must therefore be appointed by the Secretary-General.

Article 40

The National Assembly has not included the second sentence in the July 7 draft

which reads: "An amnesty granted to any person falling within the jurisdiction

of the Chambers shall not be a bar to prosecution."

...[U]nless the law is changed to include the language that we had agreed upon

last summer, the UN will insist on having similar language included in the agreement.

Article 45

We find that the Russian language is still included in the draft. As I explained

to you in the past, this is of major concern to us. Unless you have a full undertaking

by the Russian Federation or some other Russian-speaking State that they would put

at your disposal interpreters and translators, you simply will have to take this

provision out of the law. Furthermore the fact that there is a third language added,

will, as I have explained in the past, entail an almost 50% increase of the cost

for the administration, translation and interpretation.



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