Khmer Rouge tribunal international co-prosecutor Andrew Cayley was yesterday forced to retract a public statement made in May asserting that the tribunal’s investigating judges had not “fully investigated” the court’s controversial third case.
In April, co-investigating judges Siegfried Blunk and You Bunleng quietly closed their investigation into Case 003 without having interviewed the suspects or visited certain alleged crime sites.
Cayley issued a public statement requesting additional investigative steps in the case, prompting the co-investigating judges to order a retraction.
In a statement released by the court yesterday, Cayley formally retracted his previous statement after the pre-trial chamber was unable to reach a majority decision on his appeal against the retraction order, meaning that the original order stood.
Cayley’s statement quoted excerpts from the opinion of international pre-trial chamber judges Rowan Downing and Katinka Lahuis, released on Tuesday and attached to a consideration of the rejection of New Zealander Rob Hamill’s civil party application for Case 003.
The opinion included charges that judges Blunk and Bunleng had backdated and altered documents on the Case 003 file, declined to recognise civil party lawyers and had shown a disregard for victims’ rights.
In response to questions about Downing and Lahuis’ opinion, Cayley told the Post via email that he had had “very grave concerns” about the conduct of cases 003 and 004.
“The law has taken its course and now all are aware of what has taken place in [Case] 003,” he said. “These revelations should remind all of us of the very basic requirement to follow the law and the rules of this court.”
Judge Blunk resigned from the court earlier this month, citing public statements by officials regarding cases 003 and 004. The “Office of the Co-investigating Judges” hit back at Downing and Lahuis’ comments in a statement on Wednesday, saying they had allowed court staff to correct reference numbers on certain documents in accordance with the standard court practice.
Lawyers for former Khmer Rouge “Brother Number Two” Nuon Chea yesterday sent a letter calling on Judge Bunleng to resign from the court.