Amid renewed challenges to the credibility of the Khmer Rouge tribunal, international Co-Prosecutor Andrew Cayley will be speaking at Rutgers later this month. The event is scheduled for October 26 and will take place in the Newark Center for Law and Justice. It will be interesting to see how Cayley responds to questions related to recent controversies surrounding investigation of Cases 003 and 004.
In a recent opinion piece for The Wall Street Journal, law professor John Hall called out the tribunal's Cambodian co-prosecutor and investigating judges for seemingly obstructing investigations of additional cases. He writes that the lack of independence of the court from the Cambodian government (namely Prime Minister Hun Sen),
"has shown itself most evidently when the international community wanted to broaden the Tribunal beyond the five original defendants. Prime Minister Hun Sen has repeatedly voiced his opposition to broadening, on one occasion informing U.N. Secretary Ban Ki-moon that further prosecutions would not be 'allowed.' By impeding the Tribunal, Mr. Hun Sen is able to maintain political control of the process while also shaping the narrative of the Khmer Rouge era so that only a few individuals appear culpable.
Cambodian Tribunal officials have followed their prime minister's lead. When the International Co-Prosecutor referred additional suspects for prosecution, his Cambodian counterpart opposed prosecution. When international judges supported a broadened investigation—based on more than enough evidence—their Cambodian counterparts refused."
He then goes on to critique the co-investigating judges for their "substandard" investigation into Case 003.
Similar issues were brought to light in a recent piece for The Atlantic online. In "Scenes from a Khmer Rouge Trial Gone Wrong," Julia Wallace writes,
"The tribunal's most bitter intramural duel has pitted British Co-Prosecutor Andrew Cayley against the erratic and defensive German Investigating Judge Siegfried Blunk, who joined the court in December. Cayley has pushed the judges to conduct a better investigation, filing a formal request that would require them to take remedial steps such as actually interviewing the suspects in the case. Cayley also revealed the long-delayed list of crime scenes in Case 003 and requested more time for victims to file their claims. Blunk and his Cambodian counterpart, You Bunleng, promptly censured Cayley, ordering him to "retract" the information within three days and publicly considering contempt-of-court charges against their colleague."
I am eager to hear what Cayley has to say at this critical point in time.
* Pictured: Co-Prosecutor Andrew Cayley. Photo courtesy of the Cambodian Information Center.
*** UPDATE: Shortly after this post went up, controversial co-investigating judge Siegfried Blunk resigned from his position at the tribunal, citing the ongoing allegations of political interference.***