Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Expert decides against testifying at KR tribunal

Expert decides against testifying at KR tribunal

Members of the audience follow witness testimony in June at the ECCC during Case 002/02. ECCC
Members of the audience follow witness testimony in June at the ECCC during Case 002/02. ECCC

Expert decides against testifying at KR tribunal

Renowned historian Michael Vickery made an eleventh-hour retreat from his decision to testify as an expert witness at the Khmer Rouge tribunal, the court announced yesterday.

Vickery, the author of Cambodia 1975-82, initially agreed to testify in June, but on July 11, he withdrew his decision, “as he thought it would be too strenuous”, according to a letter from the court.

“It is true I will not be giving testimony. That is all I want to say now,” Vickery said via email last night. The court elaborated that “he had ‘consulted with a lawyer friend experienced in these matters’ and was convinced that he should not testify”.

Vickery had previously worked for the defence teams of former Khmer Rouge leader Ieng Sary, and for Case 003 defendant Meas Muth, which prompted Muth’s defence lawyer Michael Karnavas to seek to put limitations on Vickery’s testimony, which was due to begin on August 1.

“My concerns had to do with inadvertently revealing confidential communications from having worked as an expert on the Ieng Sary and Meas Muth cases,” Karnavas said.

The announcement was met with dismay from both the prosecution and defence sides.

“We are disappointed with his decision and hope he would reconsider,” said deputy co-prosecutor William Smith.

Nuon Chea defence lawyer Victor Koppe said that it was “unfortunate”.

“He has criticised, on good grounds, many other so-called experts . . . it would have been refreshing,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh authorities ban march for Human Rights Day

    Phnom Penh authorities have banned a planned march as local NGOs and workers’ unions gear up to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on Monday, with a youth group leader saying they would march nonetheless. The UN

  • Phnom Penh’s Jet’s Container Night Market shuts down

    The famous Jet’s Container Night Market in central Phnom Penh has shut down due to the high cost of the land rental, company representatives claim. Jet’s Container Night Market is the largest such market in Phnom Penh. It operated for just over two

  • Hun Sen rejects ‘rift’ rumours spread by ‘stupid gangsters’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday denied a “rift” among top leaders of the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), and rejected claims that Senate president Say Chhum and Interior Minister Sar Kheng were set to be removed from their positions as rumours spread by “gangsters”.

  • EU ambassador to Cambodia: Rights a ‘work in progress’

    The EU ambassador to Cambodia has called human rights “a work in progress” and said the 28-nation bloc has “carefully” noted last week’s statement by the government on taking further steps to strengthen democracy and the political sphere in the Kingdom. The EU marked