Prosecutor denies political interference

product of political pressure. (Chea is the niece of Deputy Prime Minister Sok An.) " />

Prosecutor denies political interference

During a press conference at the ECCC Wednesday, national Co-Prosecutor Chea Leang told reporters that her opposition to additional prosecutions at the court was not the product of political pressure. (Chea is the niece of Deputy Prime Minister Sok An.)

Of Hun Sen's public remarks that he would rather see the tribunal fail than pursue more suspects, Chea said, "I think it is his right to speak. ... But his speech is not related to our work here."

She said her opposition to additional prosecutions was firmly grounded in Cambodian law, which says prosecutors must "consider the public interest." Chea has contended that pursuing more suspects would lead to civil unrest.

International Co-Prosecutor Robert Petit, who has pushed for the additional prosecutions, maintained his position that they should move forward.

"The law is very clear," he said. Peace, order, "that's the business of the government, not the business of the court."

The Pre-Trial Chamber has yet to rule on the disagreement between the two prosecutors. A hearing on the matter scheduled for Friday has been cancelled and judges plan to make a decision based on the written submissions, Chea said.

* Pictured: Co-Prosecutors Robert Petit and Chea Leang at Wednesday's press conference.

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