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Government Can Help in Tribunal Reconciliation: Monitor

From left to right: Mr. Sum Rithy, civil party complainant for case #002, and Mr. Lat Ky, tribunal monitor chief of ADHOC, on 'Hello VOA".

Compensation for victims of the Khmer Rouge is in part a responsibility of the government, a tribunal monitor said Thursday.

“Because the state has an obligation to take responsibility for all kinds of people's suffering,” said Lat Ky, a court monitor for the rights group Adhoc, as a guest on “Hello VOA.”

Many victims were disappointed with the UN-backed Khmer Rouge tribunal's sentencing of prison chief Duch last week. He received a commuted sentence of 19 years for supervising the torture and execution of more than 12,000 people.

Victims who lost family in the infamous prison say they want a stupa erected with the names of the dead. Lat Ky said a stupa would help.

“Even if the verdict is a [court] order, how do we make the victims mentally reconcile, fix their suffering, and find justice for them?” he said. “That's more important than the complexities that the judges are thinking.”

Sum Rithy, a 57-year-old who has filed grievances in both the Duch case and the upcoming Case No. 002, said he was disappointed he saw no compensation in the Duch verdict.

“Reconciliation for me is easy,” he said. “I want all the leaders to answer for the deeds they committed.”