Amnesty International said it is “gravely concerned” that the Khmer Rouge tribunal is moving towards the dismissal of Cases 003 and 004 under political pressure and called on the court to make internal remedies to ensure its transparency and independence in a statement released yesterday.
Amnesty said the reported efforts to dismiss the cases, long called for by the government, came “amid an atmosphere of excessive and unnecessary secrecy, disciplinary measures jeopardising prosecutors’ independence and reports of political intervention”.
The UK-based organisation said the KRT is at risk of undermining its core mission, “to provide justice to victims of the Khmer Rouge and to the people of Cambodia as a whole, and to leave behind a legacy of respect for the rule of law”.
Amnesty called on the court to adopt rules and practices to ensure transparency, the “vigorous pursuit of investigations and prosecutions, and a firm rejection of any inappropriate or unwarranted interference with the judicial process”.
The criticism follows allegations that the KRT is preparing to dismiss cases 003 and 004 without adequate investigation. The co-investigating judges said in April that they had concluded their investigation into Case 003, though they had not interviewed the suspects. International co-prosecutor Andrew Cayley has called for further investigation.
Court spokesman Lars Olsen said it was premature for to comment on the statement, “as many of the issues raised ... are subject to pending appeals”.