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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - No stone unturned

No stone unturned

An edited version of UN Under-Secretary Hans Corell's prepared

statement:

"You will recall that the original request by the government

for assistance from the United Nations was in June 1997. It was made with

reference to the international tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda.

But in June 1999 this request was modified to focus on assistance to the

national courts of Cambodia, the Extraordinary Chambers within the existing

court structure of Cambodia.

"Ultimately it will be for the General

Assembly to decide whether the text of the agreement is acceptable. It would

also need to be ratified by the competent organs of the Kingdom of

Cambodia.

"According to the text of the draft agreement there would be

two Extraordinary Chambers; one Trial Chamber and one Supreme Court

Chamber.

"In the trial chamber [there would be] three Cambodian and two

international judges, in the Supreme Court four Cambodian and three

international judges. Decisions in the two chambers would be taken by a majority

of four judges and five judges respectively. This solution is sometimes referred

to as the 'supermajority'.

"There would be two co-investigating judges

and two co-prosecutors. In both cases one Cambodian and one international. In

case they differed that difference would be settled by a Pre-Trial Chamber

consisting of three Cambodian and two international judges. At least four judges

would have to agree to stop an investigation or prosecution.

"The

Extraordinary Chambers would have jurisdiction only over senior leaders of

Democratic Kampuchea and those who were most responsible for the crimes and

serious violations.

"The maximum penalty for a conviction would be life

imprisonment.

"The Royal Government of Cambodia would undertake not to

request [any amnesty or pardon] for any person who might be investigated or

convicted.

"The accused would have the right to counsel of his or her

choosing.

"The agreement if approved and ratified, would be an

international agreement and would have to be implemented in accordance with all

requirements under the Law of Treaties.

"The cumbersome structure with

three instances ... has been changed to a two instance system [the trial chamber

and Supreme Court Chamber."

"As Prime Minister Hun Sen said to me in a

conversation this morning, we should not leave any stone unturned in searching

how to bring healing to the Cambodian people after the unspeakable horrors of

the Khmer Rouge regime."

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