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Tribunal Judges Clarify Investigations for Two Cases

Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, ECCC.
Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, ECCC.

Khmer Rouge tribunal officials issued a statement Wednesday reiterating that there are currently no field investigations into two contentious court cases to indict more suspects of the regime.

“At this stage, no field investigation is being conducted” into cases 003 and 004, investigating judges for the UN-backed court said in a statement.

Tribunal judges are at odds over whether to pursue those cases, which would mean further indictments of Khmer Rouge suspects. Cambodian judges have said more indictments could lead to national instability, echoing warnings of Prime Minister Hun Sen.

Wednesday’s statement was made to clarify misunderstandings in the media, the investigating judges said.

Tribunal spokesman Lars Olsen told VOA Khmer that while there have been some field investigations in the past, investigating judges are currently focused on analyzing materials in the case files.

In May 2010, former international investigating judge Marcel Lemonde said a committee had been prepared to examine cases 003 and 004, but that no arrests would be made until the investigating judges completed their closing order for case 002.

That closing order—an indictment of four currently jailed Khmer Rouge leaders—was completed in September 2010. Case 002 will bring to trial for atrocity crimes charges Nuon Chea, Khieu Samphan, Ieng Sary and Ieng Thirith.

Long Panhavuth, a program officer for the Open Society Justice Initiative, who monitors the tribunal, said Wednesday’s statement indicates the third and fourth cases are in front of the investigating judges. However, he said more information about the cases should be brought to light.