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Don’t Back US Against ICC, Group Warns

The government should cancel an agreement with the US that prevents prosecution of US citizens at the International Criminal Court, a rights group said Thursday.

The head of the group Adhoc said at an ICC seminar in Phnom Penh that Cambodian support for the US—which is not a signatory to the court—could create national or regional instability.

“We think that if there is any charge with offence or crime against humanity, war crime or genocide, it is a policy that we have to send the criminals to the international criminal court,” said Adhoc President Thun Saray. “But if we have a bilateral agreement, we won’t be able to send the criminals to the ICC.”

The court, established in 2002, prosecutes war crimes, crimes of aggression, genocide and crimes against humanity. US officials have cited a number of deficiencies in the court as reasons it will not join. Cambodia is one of the few court signatories in Southeast Asia.

Government spokesman Khieu Kanharith said Cambodia “cannot walk backwards” and will follow its current policy.