Washington--Officials at the Khmer Rouge tribunal accidentally publicized the names of two suspects in a contentious case at the court online this week, quickly moving to block access to the documents but not before their presence went viral online.
The documents, which were available online for about 10 hours after they were posted on Monday afternoon, named former Khmer Rouge commanders Meas Muth and Sou Met as suspects in Case 003. Both have denied wrongdoing during the Khmer Rouge era.
Those two names have been carefully guarded by the court, despite a widespread leak of prosecution documents to journalists and court monitors over the past few years.
Organizers for victims as participants in atrocity crimes trials at the UN-backed court say they need the names and locations of the suspects and their alleged crimes so that they can help victims file with the court.
Tribunal spokesman Neth Pheaktra said court officials were trying to determine what happened to prevent similar mistakes in the future.
Ann Heindel, a legal adviser to the Documentation Center of Cambodia, said the documents and names of suspects are well known to those who follow the court’s work, making this week’s incident unlikely to have much impact.
However, Latt Ky, a tribunal monitor for the rights group Adhoc, said that the public naming of the two suspects would help some victims.
“The public should know the names of the suspects officially, rather than having them covered up,” he said.