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Tribunal Observer Cites Concerns Over Lack of Action

Latt Ky, Khmer Rouge Tribunal Monitor of Cambodian human rights NGO “Adhoc” discusses the challenges of the Khmer Rouge tribunal if suspects for additional cases have not been detailed, during VOA Khmer's Hello VOA radio call-in show in Phnom Penh, Thursday, April 30, 2015. (Lim Sothy/VOA Khmer)

A long-time monitor at the UN-backed Khmer Rouge tribunal say he worries more defendants are unlikely to be indicted or arrested, despite preliminary charges against them.

The international investigating judge at the court has recommended charges for two people in two cases still before the court, but they have not been arrested.

Latt Ky, a tribunal monitor for the rights group Adhoc, says the failure to act by the court sets up two standards: one for those detained and tried and those not. That’s a concern for victims and civil party complainants, he said.

It also shows that the international and Cambodian sides of the investigating judge’s office can “produce two answers,” and split their jurisdictions, he said. That can lead to “ambiguous” cases with no conclusion, he added.

He has little faith two named suspects, Meas Muth, the former naval commander, and Im Chaem, a senior regional commander, will be indicted or arrested, despite charges issued in March by international investigating judge Mark Harmon.

Prime Minister Hun Sen and other senior officials strongly oppose the prosecution of their cases, in what critics say demonstrates political interference with the court’s work.

Tribunal spokesman Neth Pheaktra said the investigating judges are working to conclude the cases and that lawyers for the defendants now have access to their case files, which can help move the process along.