ECCC Reparations

This blog is designed to serve as a repository of analyses, news reports and press releases related to the issue of RERAPATIONS within the framework of the Extraordinary Chambers in Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), a.k.a. the Khmer Rouge Tribunal.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

The Sihanouk Controversy Goes On

The Saga Goes On

by Stan Starygin

Following retired King Sihanouk's offer-ultimatum to the ECCC, none of the tribunal's representatives made an appearance at the Royal Palace before the deadline imposed by the King. ECCC's Peter Foster commented by stating that he had no authorization from the UN to participate in events of this type. In the meantime the pressure from different sources in the Royal Government mounted and created a feeling as if there was a concern that the King might be indicted by the tribunal. Although this concern was never expressly articulated by any government agents quoted, there were threats of "throwing the tribunal out of the country", if the ECCC decided to indict Sihanouk. There was a report acknowledging that, for a reason and purpose unbeknownst to us at this point, the ECCC communicated with Sihanouk via a letter that was delivered to the Royal Palace by a messanger with its contents to this day kept secret from the public. Sihanouk later stated that any discussion of his involvement with the Khmer Rouge -- which the retired king narrowed down to the Khmer Rouge allegedly murdering his children and grandchildren, and brushing aside years of support he had thrown before the movement, that is an undisputed matter of historical record -- would have to take place on TV. It is not clear what information Sihanouk wants to divulge and that, for one reason or another, hadn't made it into his book on his and his wife's house arrest under Democratic Kampuchea. I have a feeling that this story is far from over and we have yet to see the best of it.

5 Comments:

At September 9, 2007 at 11:03 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The letter has been published on KI Media with the had written response from the King. The ECCC says basically 'sorry you were offended but this is a matter for the judges to decide". The King notes that he has nothing more to say and won't swear an oath in court, because he has already done so to some Buddhist Monks (?).

Meanwhile the TV station that was going to air the 'interview' spent the weekend showing the interview room and lamenting how Foster had 'turned down' the Kings invitation.

Anyone who was in Cambodia may remember Hun Sen threatening to allow the KR to attack UNTAC staff if the UNTAC spokesperson didn't stop criticising the State of Cambodia. Its beginning to look like the government is doing the same thing, this time using the King to try and silence the UN and perhaps PNG the UNAKRT spokesperson for daring to state facts.

 
At September 9, 2007 at 10:07 PM , Blogger Stan Starygin said...

Do you remember what channel covered the story and showed the interview room over the weekend?

There were remarks in the press alluding to the infamous leaflets that supposedly had triggered this crisis. I, somehow, have my doubts about this as this seems quite strong a reaction to something of such little significance as an organization's call for prosecution whose contact details in Cambodia won't check out. This might still put the message across as intended, but considering the source...

 
At September 9, 2007 at 10:20 PM , Blogger Stan Starygin said...

It was my impression that Peter Foster was commenting on Sihanouk's invitation through the latter's website in the statement Foster made on August, 29. Michelle Lee's letter sounds as if Foster's statement was proactive and started this whole controversy. If this is the case, I will need to revise my chronology of this event, and if Sihanouk's post on his website wasn't the trigger, how did he manage to interpret Foster's statement of August, 29 as to being threatening?

 
At September 10, 2007 at 1:00 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Chronology goes like this. A mysterious NGO from the US publishes a statement demanding that the King's immunity be stripped and he face the ECCC. Both the leaflets and the NGO are really insignificant.

The Cambodian government over-reacts and declares the Kings immunity to be untouchable. The Cambodia Daily asks Foster what he thinks about the NGO demand. Foster says that its up the judges to decide who is called and who is prosecuted. Pressed further he says it possible that the King-father could be asked to be a witness, but if he would be bound by law to show up is another question.

The King-Father then issues his invitation.

TVK is the station.

 
At September 10, 2007 at 1:04 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

By the way, the King Father has sent out another note saying that it was not just Foster he was inviting, but all the ECCC's UN judges. And everyone snubbed him. I think that is posted on KI as well.

 

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