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Tribunal Statement Interference: Official

A Khmer Rouge tribunal spokesman has called the remarks of one court monitor a type of interference, as judges consider how many more of the regime should face atrocity charges.

The Open Society Justice Institute issued a statement last week calling on the tribunal to ensure “it is not a tool of the Cambodian government and ensure a fair and transparent judicial process.”

The tribunal’s international and local prosecutors are at odds on whether to charge more cadre of the regime with atrocity crimes beyond the five now facing trial.

“The court must show it is relying on law and facts, not politics, in deciding how many suspects will be investigated,” OSJI said in its statement.

Tribunal spokesman Reach Sambath said the statement, which was issued to the media, constituted interference in the affairs of the court.

“Each prosecutor has equal rights, and they are working on it,” he said. “When [a group] orders the Khmer prosecutor to charge, and says the foreign prosecutor is right, [the group] is the one who interferes with the court.”

There was no sign of governmental interference in the courts, he said.

The Pre-Trial Chamber of the hybrid courts will now need to decide on which prosecutor to follow.