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Leading Civil Party Withdraws Complaint from Tribunal

David J. Schefer, an U.S. Professor of Law of Northwestern University, right, and Cambodian genocide victim Theary Seng, front left, walk through a gate at the U.N.-backed tribunal court hall, file photo.
David J. Schefer, an U.S. Professor of Law of Northwestern University, right, and Cambodian genocide victim Theary Seng, front left, walk through a gate at the U.N.-backed tribunal court hall, file photo.
Kong SothanarithVOA Khmer

Seng Theary, a Cambodian-American lawyer whose family members were killed by the Khmer Rouge, had one word for the UN-backed tribunal when she withdrew her case from the court on Tuesday: “Enough.”

Seng Theary, who is the president of the Association of Khmer Rouge Victims, representing more than 3,800 complainants at the court, submitted her withdrawal because she felt the court “cannot provide justice to victims,” she told reporters later. She called the court “a farce.”

Seng Theary had been a civil party complainant in cases 003 and 004, which have come under intense scrutiny for alleged political interference and mishandling by investigating judges.

She blamed the UN for “complicity” in the poor handling of the cases, which would require five more indictments at the court, a move Prime Minister Hun Sen opposes on the grounds it would destabilize the country. She called on the government and international observers to work toward more independence at the court and further investigation into both cases.

Tribunal spokesman Huy Vannak said the UN and the government were committed to letting the court functional independently.

However, Long Panhavuth, a court monitor for the Cambodia Justice Initiative, said the withdrawal would “send a message to the court” that could lead to “more victims who will withdraw their participation in court processes.”

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Cambodia Reduces Western Influence, Tilts Towards Locali
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30 January 2015
Cambodia tilts towards China and its acceptance of more and more Chinese aid helps the impoverished nation to reduce influence of international donors who had sought to push Cambodia towards more democratic form of governance. Sebastian Strangio, the author of “Hun Sen’s Cambodia,” told a gathering in Washington that the balance between local interest and international interest in Cambodia is beginning to tilt much more in the directions of the local. VOA’s Men Kimseng reports from Washington.

English with Mani & Mori

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