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Victims told how to apply as civil parties

Victims told how to apply as civil parties

Cases 003, 004

The Khmer Rouge tribunal yesterday circulated a digital version of a new leaflet on how victims of the Khmer Rouge can apply to become civil parties in government-opposed cases 003 and 004 – cases many have publicly doubted will ever be tried.

Court spokesman Lars Olsen said the court had created the booklet as the first of several responses to an order from international Co-Investigating Judge Mark Harmon that the Victim Support and Public Affairs Sections provide more public information about the two cases.

“We have just sent a new booklet for potential Civil Parties in cases 003 and 004 to the printing shop,” the tribunal’s Facebook page announced yesterday.

Following years of criticism that the court was impeding the two cases from going forward, newcomer Harmon raised cautious hopes in April when he allowed 20 civil party lawyers access to the 003 and 004 case files, apparently acting against the wishes of national Co-Investigating Judge You Bunleng, who could not be reached yesterday.

More than 850 victims have applied for civil party status in one or both of the cases – the majority probably also civil parties in Case 002, Olsen said, adding further outreach would include radio broadcasts.

Panhavuth Long, Cambodia Justice Initiative program officer, said the move for outreach was potentially promising, but the cases’ futures remained far from certain.

Indeed, the new leaflet discusses trials for cases 003 and 004 in conditional terms: “If a case goes to trial, all Civil Parties will form one consolidated group.”

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