Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Trial law sails through Assembly

Trial law sails through Assembly

Trial law sails through Assembly

trial.jpg
trial.jpg

Hands up! The National Assembly greenlights the Khmer Rouge tribunal law on Jan 2.

S

tunned silence filled the National Assembly chamber on the morning of Jan 2 after

legislators unanimously passed 47 of 48 articles of the Khmer Rouge tribunal law

without a whisper of debate. The first article of the draft law had occupied the

Assembly for the entirety of the first day of debate on the law on Dec 29.

After years of often-bitter wrangling with the UN to reach agreement on a mixed international

tribunal of former Khmer Rouge leaders, the law authorizing the tribunal's creation

was welcomed with relieved smiles and bursts of nervous laughter among all parties

An obviously-delighted Minister of the Council of Ministers Sok An, who finalized

the draft law with UN Undersecretary-General Hans Corell in July 2000, expressed

his gratitude to legislators for the law's speedy approval, noting that it was the

first time in the Assembly's history that a law had been approved unanimously.

National Assembly First Deputy Heng Samrin (CPP) mixed his praise for the law's passage

with assurances to former Khmer Rouge that only the top leadership would be targeted

by the tribunal.

"Please don't worry, we will only [prosecute] the leaders and the people who

were responsible for the [Khmer Rouge] regime," he said.

CPP MP Chour Lieng Hout described the law's passage as a victory for Cambodian sovereignty

and national pride.

"There have been opinions expressed by some Khmers that Khmers can't be trusted

and Cambodia required an international court," Hout said. "Samdech Hun

Sen fought for a Khmer court and Khmer brains."

Sam Rainsy expressed resignation about the law's passage, saying his party had no

capacity to change flawed aspects of the law and that delays were not in the public

interest.

"I am not 100% satisfied with the provisions of the law... but we don't want

to allow the former senior Khmer Rouge and witnesses to die of natural causes before

they can face trial," he said. "I remain concerned that the tribunal's

Cambodian judges will be appointed by the Supreme Council of Magistracy [which] the

CPP controls."

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia unveils new quarantine regulations

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Cambodia sets new Covid-19 quarantine rules

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Hun Sen: Cambodia set to fully reopen

    Prime Minister Hun Sen concludes that the October 5-7 Pchum Ben public holiday, during which many people either flocked to their hometowns for family reunion or gathered at tourist attractions across the country, has not caused an outbreak of Covid-19. In a special address to

  • Will Evergrande change the way Chinese developers do business in Cambodia?

    China’s property sector policy has exposed the grim financial condition of real estate developers including those operating in Cambodia, which raises questions over the viability of their projects and business going forward The dark blue netting draping over one of Yuetai Group Co Ltd’

  • Cambodia voted ‘world’s friendliest country’ in Rough Guides reader poll

    Cambodia ranked number one among the “World’s Friendliest Countries”, according to a reader poll conducted by London-based international website “Rough Guides”. Taking submissions through Twitter and Facebook, “Rough Guides”, a well-known travel agency and publisher of guidebooks, said the Kingdom “was by far the

  • S’ville set to turn into ‘second Shenzhen’

    The Ministry of Economy and Finance has awarded a master plan consultancy contract to top Chinese institute for the development and transformation of Preah Sihanouk province into a “Model Multi-Purpose Special Economic Zone”, Southeast Asia’s next logistics and resort hub and innovation centre. The