Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Kerry visit raises KR tribunal hopes

Kerry visit raises KR tribunal hopes

Kerry visit raises KR tribunal hopes

US Senator John Kerry's one-day visit to Phnom Penh on November 20 may have revived

Government efforts toward the formation of a long-delayed tribunal for former leaders

of the Khmer Rouge.

Kerry left Phnom Penh with firm promises from the Minister of the Council of Ministers,

Sok An, Prime Minister Hun Sen, and National Assembly President Prince Norodom Ranariddh

that the tribunal process will move forward following a schedule that could allow

the National Assembly to pass the law in December.

According to that schedule, Sok An will begin briefing the National Assembly's Legislative

Commission immediately after he returns from a an Asean meeting in Singapore on November

25.

Commission Chairman Monh Sophan confirmed that a meeting is tentatively scheduled

for November 30. The briefing will take between five and 10 days, after which the

law will be submitted for debate in the National Assembly.

"Everybody that I met with have all agreed that the tribunal process can be

expedited, and it will be done so according to a very specific schedule," Kerry

said at a press conference at Pochentong Airport.

Sophan has been waiting to be briefed on the contents of a tribunal agreement hammered

out between the Cambodian Government and the UN, during a visit by UN Undersecretary-General

Hans Corell from July 5 till 7.

The Commission was not able to continue its work on the draft law without Sok An

briefing its members on the agreement, since it contains substantial changes to the

original law text from January. Since Corell's visit, Sok An has only met once with

the Commission.

But during the last two weeks, members of Sok An's tribunal task force have met repeatedly

to prepare the documents that will form the basis of the Commission briefings.

Sources say the contents of the briefing documents mainly correspond with the UN-proposed

draft law that Corell left behind in July, though there are some differences.

In spite of his optimism that progress toward the establishment of a KR tribunal

is imminent, Kerry said it remains to be seen whether Government promises to obey

its own tight time-frame will be kept.

"Obviously the proof will be in what happens in the next few weeks," Kerry

said. "This is the test. And it's a test that only the National Assembly and

the Government itself can successfully dictate the outcome of."

MOST VIEWED

  • Massive stingrays may live in Mekong’s deep pools

    US scientists have suggested that unexplored deep pools in the Mekong River in an area of Stung Treng could potentially be home to significant populations of giant freshwater stingrays, one of the world’s largest freshwater fish species. This comes as a fisherman hooked a 180

  • CCC team off on US business trip

    The Kingdom’s leading economists and private sector representatives have called on the US to renew its tax preferential status for Cambodian exports, as a Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) delegation departed for a weeklong business visit to the US, where they will meet with

  • PM takes time to meet, greet Cambodians living in the US

    After landing in the US ahead of the ASEAN-US Special Summit, Prime Minister Hun Sen was received by over 1,000 Cambodian-Americans including political analysts who welcomed him with greetings, fist bumps and selfies. Hun Sen also met with analyst Mak Hoeun, who had allegedly spoken ill

  • Khmer cinema classics back on big screen for free at WB Arena’s outdoor movies series

    On a recent Saturday evening at WB Arena, Bunsong was enjoying a tasty BBQ meal with his family after work on the long tables that had been arranged out in front of the restaurant as they watched a Khmer action movie on a big outdoor

  • PM heads to Washington for ASEAN-US special summit

    Regional and international issues and how to bring the ASEAN-US partnership to another level will be discussed at length as Prime Minister Hun Sen and his ministers arrive in Washington, DC, for a special summit on May 12-13. During the trip, Hun Sen and ASEAN

  • National Assembly refutes EU resolution

    The National Assembly (NA) has hit back at a European Parliament resolution condemning the political and human rights situation in Cambodia, calling it another display of the Parliament’s “double standards”. Key points of the resolution include a warning that the Parliament could exclude the