An edited version of UN Under-Secretary Hans Corell's prepared
"You will recall that the original request by the government
for assistance from the United Nations was in June 1997. It was made with
reference to the international tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda.
But in June 1999 this request was modified to focus on assistance to the
national courts of Cambodia, the Extraordinary Chambers within the existing
court structure of Cambodia.
"Ultimately it will be for the General
Assembly to decide whether the text of the agreement is acceptable. It would
also need to be ratified by the competent organs of the Kingdom of
"According to the text of the draft agreement there would be
two Extraordinary Chambers; one Trial Chamber and one Supreme Court
"In the trial chamber [there would be] three Cambodian and two
international judges, in the Supreme Court four Cambodian and three
international judges. Decisions in the two chambers would be taken by a majority
of four judges and five judges respectively. This solution is sometimes referred
to as the 'supermajority'.
"There would be two co-investigating judges
and two co-prosecutors. In both cases one Cambodian and one international. In
case they differed that difference would be settled by a Pre-Trial Chamber
consisting of three Cambodian and two international judges. At least four judges
would have to agree to stop an investigation or prosecution.
Extraordinary Chambers would have jurisdiction only over senior leaders of
Democratic Kampuchea and those who were most responsible for the crimes and
"The maximum penalty for a conviction would be life
"The Royal Government of Cambodia would undertake not to
request [any amnesty or pardon] for any person who might be investigated or
"The accused would have the right to counsel of his or her
"The agreement if approved and ratified, would be an
international agreement and would have to be implemented in accordance with all
requirements under the Law of Treaties.
"The cumbersome structure with
three instances ... has been changed to a two instance system [the trial chamber
and Supreme Court Chamber."
"As Prime Minister Hun Sen said to me in a
conversation this morning, we should not leave any stone unturned in searching
how to bring healing to the Cambodian people after the unspeakable horrors of
the Khmer Rouge regime."