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.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Robert Petit: Error, Not a Big Deal


Stan Starygin

International Co-Prosecutor Robert Petit recently was quoted as saying that the embarrassing blooper on Ieng Sary's Detention Order referring to him in one instance as "Noun Chea" was "neither surprising, nor a big deal". Two things seem interesting about this statement (1)what is the International Co-Prosecutor doing making excuses for the personnel of the Office of Co-Investigating Judges, which is supposed to be outside his purview, and (2)according to Mr. Petit, what then constitutes 'a big deal', if not using the wrong name in a detention order.

Errors sneak into published material of the best printing houses in the world. In fact, it is rare that a book or any other type of voluminous publication manages to avoid them completely. The issue I take with this is that here we are not talking about a sizable publication, but a document less than a dozen and a half pages in length. It is not hard to imagine how many times this document, therefore, can be proof-read to avoid such errors with the number of personnel the Office of Co-Investigating Judges employs. It is also critical to remember the significant resources the tribunal has at its disposal to prevent things like this from happening.

If the name of the accused in a detention order is not a big deal, then what is? If Mr. Petit wants us to believe this "is not a big deal", what inferences are there to be made of the accuracy of the overall process and the determination of those at the helm "to get this thing right this time"?


At December 1, 2007 at 3:12 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Couple of things to keep in mind here.

First the original version of the order was written in French and Khmer- not English. Both those versions were without any errors.

The error in the English version therefore was made during the translation process from the original version.

The incorrect version of the English translation was up on the web for less then 24 hours before it was corrected.

There was never any error in the original officially submitted order.

In that context we are taking about a problem in translation, a problem that the court has not been shy about highlighting. But it had no impact on the quality of the original items and seen in that light could be considered a minor problem. A problem for sure, but not 'a big deal'.

At December 1, 2007 at 10:12 PM , Blogger herbz2 said...

I saw Duch's old military detention order on the internet. It was correct, and less than two pages. (It is strange, though that the Romanized spelling of Khang Khek Ieu has been slightly different in every book or document, about six times!)


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