US ambasador-at-large for Global Criminal Justice Stephen Rapp re-emphasised America’s commitment to the Khmer Rouge tribunal in a press briefing at the Hotel le Royal yesterday.
Rapp, on his eighth visit to Cambodia, said the US Congress was considering a US$5 million pledge to shore up the 2012 finances of what Rapp referred to as “the most important trial in the world”.
“[The ECCC] sends the message that there will be a day of justice,” he said, calling attention to the impact of the trial to prevent future atrocities.
Rapp endorsed the release of Case 002 co-defendant Ieng Thirith on the grounds that she is unfit to stand trial, while maintaining that “as long as you’re alive and competent, you will be called to account.”
He was asked whether future US donations — which legally require proof that “progress has been made” in fighting corruption — would be also be contingent on the court’s co-operation in the investigations of cases 003 and 004.
“We will watch that very carefully, but that’s not a legal prohibition; that’s a question of policy,” Rapp said.
To contact the reporter on this story: Stuart White at [email protected]