20 January 2012

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Secretary-General Says Decision by Cambodia Not to Appoint Current Reserve


Judge to Position on Extraordinary Chambers ‘Matter of Serious Concern’


The following statement was issued today by the Spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:

On 19 January 2012, the Royal Government of Cambodia formally notified the Secretary-General of the decision of the Supreme Council of the Magistracy of Cambodia not to appoint the current reserve international Co-Investigating Judge, Judge Laurent Kasper-Ansermet, to the position of international Co-Investigating Judge of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC). 

This is a matter of serious concern.  The decision is a breach of article 5, paragraph 6, of the Agreement between the United Nations and the Royal Government of Cambodia Concerning the Prosecution under Cambodian Law of Crimes Committed During the Period of Democratic Kampuchea, done at Phnom Penh on 6 June 2003, which states unequivocally that “[i]n case there is a vacancy or a need to fill the post of the international co-investigating judge, the person appointed to fill this post must be the reserve international co-investigating judge”.

The Royal Government of Cambodia raised ethical concerns in relation to Judge Kasper-Ansermet in November 2011.  The United Nations thoroughly reviewed the concerns, determined that they were unfounded, and requested that the Supreme Council of the Magistracy proceed with his appointment.  The United Nations continues to support Judge Kasper-Ansermet and Cambodia should take immediate steps to appoint him as International Co-Investigating Judge.

The Special Expert on the United Nations Assistance to the Khmer Rouge Trials, Mr. David Scheffer, is travelling to Phnom Penh today for discussions with the Government and senior officials of the ECCC.

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For information media • not an official record