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PM Hun Sen Defends Selection of Judges in the Khmer Rouge Tribunal

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen defends the decision of the Supreme Council of Magistracy in selecting Cambodian judges and prosecutors for the Khmer Rouge tribunal.

Many non-governmental organizations in Cambodia question the ability, integrity, and independence of the 17 Cambodian judges and prosecutors selected.

Speaking at the graduation ceremony for the judges who have completed training courses at the Royal Administrative School in Phnom Penh, Hun Sen said Cambodia had to start all over with nothing after the Khmer Rouge regime.

Mr. Hun Sen says that this issue is not a laughing matter because those judges and prosecutors were chosen by the Supreme Council of the Magestracy led by King Sihamoni.

The Cambodian Prime Minister did not mention anyone or any organization by name. However his reaction is being interpreted as directed toward the director of the Center for Social Development's (CSD) Dr. Law Mong Hay. Dr. Lao has questioned the jurists' qualifications, experiences, and wonder about their connections with their political parties.

The jurists have been officially selected, but before and after this selection and the official announcement of their names list, the civil societies still wonder about the selection's transparency.

Dr. Lao says that other democratic countries ban the judges and prosecutors from being party members.