Co-Investigating Judges Travel To Pailin To Explain Former KR Officials
Posted date : 15-01-2008 Source : Samleng Yuvachun Khmer Number of Visitors : 89
The Co-Investigating Judges of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) on Monday paid the first official visit to Pailin to explain former Khmer Rouge cadres and people living there about the process and aims of the Khmer Rouge trial.
“This is the first time that they, Co-Investigating Judges You Bunleng and Marcel Lemonde, have traveled to Pailin themselves,” said ECCC Spokesman Reach Sambath.
The visit to Pailin, a former Khmer Rouge stronghold, has been made as five former most senior Khmer Rouge leaders are being detained at the ECCC’s detention facility awaiting trial under charges of mass killings of approximately 1.7 million people in Cambodia in the late 1970s.
The visit to allay fears of the former Khmer Rouge cadres and people in Pailin has been made only one week after Senate President Chea Sim, President of the Cambodian People’s Party, made comment on January 7 that some “unwise” people are exploiting the Khmer Rouge tribunal in order to create instability and tear Cambodian society apart. However, Chea Sim did not point out the identities and the actions of those people.
“The tribunal’s officials will meet Pailin’s municipal officials on Tuesday,” said You Bunleng, Co-Investigating Judge of the ECCC. “On Wednesday, there will be a meeting with former Khmer Rouge, in which the court’s officials will explain the roles of the court in the trial of the former Khmer Rouge leaders, not ordinary Khmer Rouge soldiers,” he said, adding that if the meeting with people in Pailin was successful, the court’s officials would meet people in other former Khmer Rouge regions.
“As 5 suspects who are the top leaders and most responsible people [for the Khmer Rouge regime] have been arrested and are being detained provisionally, the Judges think that the former Khmer Rouge soldiers who have integrated with the government and are living in Pailin might not be clear about the tasks of the court. That is why the court has decided to explain them in order to allay their fears or reduce their misunderstandings of the court, since the court tries only top leaders and most responsible people,” said Reach Sambath. “In Rwanda and Sierra Leon, they also explained their people in various places also,” he added.
Meanwhile, the ECCC claims that the first trial of the former Khmer Rouge leaders may be held in June 2008.
Unofficial Translation-Extracted from Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol. 15, #3229, Tuesday, January 15, 2008