Khmer Rouge Prosecutor Renews Bid For Case 003 Probe

Posted June 14th, 2011 at 5:40 am (UTC-5)
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A prosecutor at the international tribunal on Khmer Rouge atrocities says he has renewed his request that the investigating judges reopen their probe in controversial Case 003.

British prosecutor Andrew Cayley said Tuesday he has now filed documents demanded by the investigating judges, who rejected his earlier request on a technicality. Cayley is asking the judges to overlook the lateness of his new request in the interests of justice.

The investigating judges – one German and one Cambodian – reacted angrily to a public statement by Cayley last month noting they had failed to interrogate the suspects in Case 003 or visit suspected crime scenes. However, higher judges on Monday suspended an order by the investigating judges that Cayley immediately retract his statement.

The higher judges noted that the investigating judges, in their order to Cayley, had disclosed the same confidential information they were seeking to suppress.

The dispute over Case 003, which reportedly involves two top military officers, is threatening to undermine the credibility of the U.N.-backed court. On Monday, the investigating judges disclosed that several of their staff have quit, and the judges said they were pleased to be rid of anyone who fails to recognize their authority.

Legal experts following the proceedings fear the tribunal is being influenced by political pressure from the Cambodian government. Prime Minister Hun Sen has said social order in the country will be disrupted if the court goes ahead with its third and fourth cases.

In Case 001, a notorious Khmer Rouge jailer known as Duch was sentenced to 19 years in prison. Case 002, involving the top four surviving Khmer Rouge members, is expected to go to trial shortly.