Cambodia, UN agree on need to strengthen court trying Khmer Rouge leaders

10 December 2008 – United Nations and Cambodian officials have agreed on the need to strengthen the UN-backed tribunal trying Khmer Rouge leaders accused of mass killings and other crimes in the south-east Asian country by enhancing its human resources management, including anti-corruption measures.

A high-level UN Secretariat delegation led by Assistant-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs Peter Taksoe-Jensen met yesterday with Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the Royal Government Task Force on the Khmer Rouge Trials, Sok An, holding constructive discussions on various issues of mutual concern with regard to the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC).

Both sides welcomed the significant achievements made by the ECCC, including progress towards the imminent start of the first trial.

Under a 2003 agreement between the UN and Cambodia, the ECCC was set up as an independent court using a mixture of Cambodian staff and judges and foreign personnel to try those deemed most responsible for crimes and serious violations of Cambodian and international law during the Khmer Rouge rule from 17 April 1975 to 6 January 1979.

In a joint statement issued today, the two sides recognized the ECCC’s potential to address impunity for crimes of the former Khmer Rouge regime and expressed the hope that it will become a model for future judicial systems.

They agreed to set up joint sessions between the national and international related structures to ensure that the entire administration operates in a transparent, fair and efficient way, meeting the requirements of due process of law, including full protection against retaliation.


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