Search form

Login - Register | FOLLOW US ON

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Tribunal squanders the opportunity to deliver change

Tribunal squanders the opportunity to deliver change

Dear Editor,

I follow proceedings in the Khmer Rouge tribunal closely and observe its  workings patiently from the sidelines.

I do this with a feeling of hope, because this United Nations-backed court was initiated with two core objectives: to put leaders of the Khmer Rouge regime on trial and find justice for their victims; and to be a model for Cambodia’s justice system, which is often viewed – by local people and the international community alike – as weak and corrupt.

Recently, I have  become very annoyed and disappointed with this hybrid court, because it is seen as being influenced by politics and the local justice system, rather than becoming a role model.

Since it was established more than half a decade ago, the tribunal has done nothing to positively influence  the local court system.

Instead, it seems to be adopting the bad habits of Cambodia’s courts, whose actions have been criticised by local and international legal activists (including the United Nations).

In its most recent crisis, this “model” court set a pretty bad example.

Following its warning to journalists who  reported on the leaking of documents related to the contro-versial cases 003 and 004, the tribunal  filed a complaint against the Voice of America Khmer Service because this highly professional media organisation had independently reported to its audience the leakage of documents pertaining to cases 003 and 004 at  a time when the court appeared unwilling to proceed with those cases.

During a press conference in Bangkok, Thailand, one of the co-investigating judges again lambasted members of the media who are working conscientiously in their task of reporting the tribunal’s proceedings.

It seems to me the court’s working system is flawed, and this may explain how the documents came to be leaked.

These actions are unacceptable, and show the tribunal in a poor light. It also suggests to the public that the tribunal is being influenced by the local justice system, rather than the other way around.

As a beneficiary of this UN-backed tribunal, I want to see it working professionally and independently of politics, as well as serving as a shining model for the local court system.

Bin Socheat
Phnom Penh

Send letters to: newsroom@phnompenhpost.com 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.

0

Comments

Please, login or register to post a comment

Latest Video

Senate passes amendments allowing seat redistribution

Following last week's events, when Prime Minister Hun Sen proposed redistributing the Cambodia National Rescue Party’s National Assembly seats among minor opposition parties, the controversial amendments were passed a

Life with the indigenous communities of Mondulkiri

The Indigenous People's Lodge in the lush highlands of Mondulkiri, one of the Kingdom's most sparsely populated provinces, offers of a taste of traditional life.

Watch our video to find out more.