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Spirit of Tribunal Honors Victims: Official

The head representative of the Khmer Rouge tribunal’s Victims Unit said Monday the role of the court was not only to find justice, but to heal and unify the country.

“In the spirit of healing and national reconciliation in any country, such as this kind of court, [judges] will not do what contradicts this main spirit, at all,” said Neou Kassie, head of the Victims Unit, as a guest on “Hello VOA.” “Once turmoil again occurs, the innocents suffer, and that’s not the direction of national reconciliation.”

The spirit of the tribunal is to conduct practical trials with international standards, to bring the top leaders of the Khmer Rouge to justice, he said.

Victim outreach is also an important component of the UN-backed court, he said, with news reaching people by TV, radio and other media, to help them understand the process and follow the proceedings.

Still, there has not been a consensus among more than 90 civil party complaint groups as to what kind of general compensation they may seek in the case against former prison chief Kaing Kek Iev, or Duch, whose trial is wrapping up.

Some want rural development, while others want psychological clinics, and still others a research center, he said. And while compensation is going to be up to the court, a strong request would help.

“They need to make the decision together,” Neou Kassie said. “Otherwise their request is not strong.”