A US-BASED trial monitor has called on the Khmer Rouge tribunal to “publicly demonstrate its independence” from the Cambodian government by moving forward with investigations in its third and fourth cases.
In its December report, the Open Society Justice Initiative said the court needed to demonstrate that it was unaffected by recent comments from Prime Minister Hun Sen expressing opposition to Cases 003 and 004.
“In recent months, the credibility of the [tribunal] has been frontally challenged in an unprecedented manner by a Cambodian government determined to politically terminate Cases 003/004,” the OSJI said.
Cambodian court officials have thus far expressed opposition to these investigations, which are currently being handled by international staff.
Marcel Lemonde, who stepped down last week after more than four years as a Co-Investigating Judge at the tribunal, told The Post in a written interview that the court “must obviously be independent and impartial”, adding: “Of course independent of the Government of Cambodia, as we are reminded regularly, but also independent of the media and NGOs.”