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"Disloyal" ECCC staffers and the debate over additional prosecutions

"Disloyal" ECCC staffers and the debate over additional prosecutions

Like many journalists, I received a somewhat peculiar message from the Co-Investigating Judges on Thursday. It read that the judges, "have credible information that the content of the Second Introductory Submission which is classified as confidential, has been divulged by a disloyal staff member of the ECCC," and issued a warning "that anyone publishing information from this confidential document is liable to be subjected to proceedings for Interference with the Administration of Justice pursuant to Internal Rule 35."

As James O'Toole explains in today's Post, this warning came in response to an article from the Christian Science Monitor that quoted extensively from the 2008 document. In the document, prosecutors outline allegations against former Khmer Rouge navy commander Meas Mut and air force commander Sou Met. The Monitor article also contends that the leaked document casts doubt on the court's ability to operate independently and suggests that the investigation of Case 003 was inadequate.

After dissemination of the memo related to the "disloyal staff member," activist Theary Seng issued a statement praising the ECCC employee's actions. On behalf of the Association of Khmer Rouge Victims in Cambodia, she wrote:

"I would like to publicly and personally express my deep gratitude to you for your courage in releasing information regarding Case 003. I can imagine it was a very difficult decision, but I am glad your higher conscience won out. You may have committed a 'crime against bureaucracy,' but in doing so, you have provided the victims and the public a powerful weapon to fight against the 'crimes of idiocy,' an odious offense that is part of a widespread and systematic practice currently in flamboyant display at the Extraordinary Chambers ('ECCC').

What is happening with regard to Cases 003 and 004 is an affront to 1,700,000 victims and 14,000,000 survivors and kins of the Khmer Rouge regime."

Seng had filed to be a civil party in Case 003, but her application was rejected -- as was the application of Rob Hamill, whose brother Kerry was captured and killed by the Khmer Rouge. Discussions of potential Cases 003 and 004 have proved particularly contentious, especially since Prime Minister Hun Sen has repeatedly insisted that no prosecutions be pursued beyond Case 002.

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