A SENIOR government official has again warned the Khmer Rouge tribunal not to threaten national reconciliation and development, echoing earlier government concerns about additional prosecutions of former regime figures.
“We oppose any attempts to use the chamber for ill-intentions that would have an impact on peace, national reconciliation and development, which are our hard-won achievements,” said Chea Sim, president of the Cambodian People’s Party.
Speaking at an official ceremony marking the anniversary of the overthrow of the Khmer Rouge regime in 1979, Chea Sim pledged the party’s continued backing for the court.
The CPP would support the tribunal “in trying crimes committed by senior leaders of the Democratic Kampuchea regime”, he said.
Chea Sim’s comments were an apparent reference to disagreements between the government and the UN-backed court over whether to proceed with more prosecutions of former regime figures.
In October, the Office of the Co-Investigating Judges also summoned six senior government officials to testify in the upcoming trial of four former regime leaders. None has so far expressed any willingness to appear before the court.
In response to Chea Sim’s comments, tribunal spokesman Lars Olsen said the court was independent and makes its decisions “independently in accordance with the law”.
“We do not seek approval or advice from lawmakers or people from the executive branch in our work,” he said.
ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY ROBBIE COREY-BOULET