Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - PM denies KRT interference, warns of possible civil unrest

PM denies KRT interference, warns of possible civil unrest

PM denies KRT interference, warns of possible civil unrest

KR VICTIMS SURVEYED
Nearly two-thirds of direct victims of the Khmer Rouge regime are not ready to reconcile with former cadres, according to an unpublished study presented Thursday in Phnom Penh by the Berlin-based Treatment Centre for Torture Victims. The study, conducted between October 2008 and May 2009 in cooperation with the Transcultural Psychosocial Organisation, had a sample size of 1,079, of which 22 percent were civil party applicants.
KHOUTH SOPHAK CHAKRYA

PRIME Minister Hun Sen on Thursday repeated his claim that more prosecutions at the Khmer Rouge tribunal could plunge the country into civil strife, and also disputed allegations that he was interfering in the UN-backed court’s operations.

“Sorry, no more [prosecutions]. I would rather see the court fail than let the country fall into war,” Hun Sen said during remarks at the 11th annual national day for the disabled.

I would rather see the court fail than let the country fall into war.

Acting international co-prosecutor William Smith in September requested the investigation of five more suspects after a legal technicality allowed additional introductory submissions to go forward over the objections of national co-prosecutor Chea Leang. The same day Smith submitted the request, Hun Sen warned that more indictments would lead to civil unrest that could claim hundreds of thousands of lives.

He reiterated that claim Thursday, saying: “I am not interfering with the court, but it is not the court that stopped the war. Be careful. The court will create war, causing more divisions in society.”

He added: “Again and again, I see they want to question [more suspects]. Be careful, this is the issue of death.”

The premier has repeatedly been accused of trying to interfere with the work of the tribunal. A report released last month by the Open Society Justice Initiative stated that political interference “poses a serious challenge to both the credibility of the court and its ability to meet international fair trial standards”.

UN court spokesman Lars Olsen said Thursday that there was no chance the court’s independence would be compromised.

“The court will follow the law and make its decisions independently, according to the law,” he said.

“We do not seek advice from the executive branch or anyone else.”

MOST VIEWED

  • US names new ambassador to Cambodia

    US President Donald Trump on Friday appointed W Patrick Murphy as the new US Ambassador to Cambodia, replacing incumbent William A Heidt. A press release posted on the White House’s website said nominee W Patrick Murphy is currently acting principal deputy assistant secretary at

  • Kingdom is at a crossroads between East, West after poll

    It was dubbed a success by caretaker prime minister Hun Sen after the electoral victory of his Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), which is poised to take all seats in the National Assembly. But the July 29 national election has not been positively looked at by

  • Final poll results confirm first single-party Assembly

    IN an unprecedented situation in Cambodian politics, the official results of the July 29 national elections have declared that the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) will take all 125 seats in the National Assembly on the back of it receiving 76 per cent of the votes. The National

  • Chinese influence to sweep Kingdom?

    Growing Cambodia-China ties have seen the latter’s influence sweep across the Kingdom through increased investments and tourism. The Asian giant has become the leading source of foreign funds in Cambodia, fuelling the construction sector with huge casino and hotel projects. Much of the growth