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.
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.
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.
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.