The failure of the United Nations to swiftly replace recently resigned German judge Siegfried Blunk at the Khmer Rouge tribunal is effectively paralysing investigations into the controversial cases 003 and 004, a report released yesterday by the court-monitoring group Open Society Justice Initiative says.
The report calls for the immediate appointment of new International Co-Investigating Judge Laurent Kasper-Ansermet, whom the UN has named as Blunk’s replacement.
Blunk resigned on October 10 and, after a period of annual leave, officially severed ties with the court on October 31.
Kasper-Ansermet, a Swiss national, has yet to commence duties at the tribunal.
Until Kasper-Ansermet formally assumes his role at the court, investigations into cases 003 and 004 are stalled under the rules governing the court.
Cambodian investigating Judge You Bunleng told the Post yesterday his duties had been effectively paralysed.
“I cannot do any investigations. All I can do is work on documents, do paperwork,” he said.
The report says a pattern of “legally erroneous decision-making” has appeared at the tribunal and is exacerbating the “crisis of credibility” of the UN-Cambodian effort to prosecute the leaders of the murderous Khmer Rouge regime.
additional reporting by Cheang Sokha