Nuremberg Prosecutors on the ECCC
Television Journalist and Producer Bill Kurtis Interviews Last Three Surviving Nuremberg Trial Prosecutors About Cambodia Tribunal Now Underway
The Earth Times
Mon, 05 May 2008 16:17:57 GMT
Cambodia Tribunal Monitor
Nuremberg prosecutors Ben Ferencz, Henry King and Whitney Harris tell why Cambodia Tribunal must go forward; tie to Nuremberg precedent
CHICAGO, May 5 /PRNewswire/ -- The Cambodia Tribunal Monitor Web site today posted exclusive video interviews by TV journalist, producer and former CBS news anchor Bill Kurtis with the last three surviving prosecutors of post-World War II trials held in Nuremberg, Germany about their perspective on the upcoming Cambodia Tribunal. Senior officials of the Khmer Rouge regime are expected to be tried over the next several years for atrocity crimes in Cambodia during their 1975-79 rule. The pre-trial hearings of some of the regime leaders are currently underway.
Kurtis interviewed prosecutors Ben Ferencz, Henry King and Whitney Harris, asking them to reflect on the significance of the Nuremberg trials on international law, what lessons we learned, how far we have come and what advice they have for the Cambodia Tribunal currently underway in Phnom Penh.
Kurtis, with the consortium responsible for the Cambodia Tribunal Monitor Web site, posted these exclusive interviews with the surviving Nuremberg prosecutors on the Web site in an effort to raise awareness about the need to punish war crimes and crimes against humanity, no matter how long ago those crimes were committed.
Speaking about the significance of interviewing the Nuremberg prosecutors, Kurtis said, "These are the voices of history speaking. They provide an important historical context and precedent from the post-World War II era that can be applied to today's tribunal in Cambodia. I thought it was especially important to draw from their experience and hear their perspective, as their insights will inform the trials -- and procedures of those trials -- for today's alleged war criminals."
When Kurtis asked if it is still worth it for Cambodia to have a tribunal after 30 years since the crimes were committed, former prosecutor Ben Ferencz said, "Of course it's still worth it. Because it tells the people of Cambodia, we have not forgotten ... And we are trying, within the limits of our capacity, to recognize that what happened to you and your people and your loved ones and the victims was a crime, it was an outrage, and we will never tolerate that as an acceptable human behavior."
Henry King told Kurtis that he would offer the following advice to the Cambodia Tribunal, "Take the long view. Be persistent. Never give up. We didn't ever give up at Nuremberg ... Think of future generations ... because the weapons of destruction are becoming so violent that we'll destroy ourselves if we don't have a rule of law in the world."
From April 1975 to January 1979, an estimated 1.7 million Cambodian citizens died under the Khmer Rouge regime. After nearly 10 years of negotiations, this special war crimes tribunal has commenced. The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), as the special Cambodian court is formally known, will oversee the proceedings and is a joint partnership of the United Nations and the Royal Government of Cambodia.
Video and transcripts in English are now posted on http://www.cambodiatribunalmonitor.org/. The media will be notified when French voiceovers of the video and French transcripts of the interviews are available in the coming weeks.
Biographies of Nuremberg Prosecutors:
Benjamin Berell Ferencz: Ferencz is a graduate of Harvard Law School. Following the Nuremberg trials, Ferencz became a vocal advocate of the establishment of an international rule of law and of the International Criminal Court. From 1985 to 1996, he was Adjunct Professor of International Law at Pace University.
Henry T. King, Jr.: King is a legal practitioner and an academic writer. King received his B.A. degree in 1941 from Yale College, and his LL.B. in 1943 from Yale Law School (1943). Following his service at Nuremberg, King had a long career as counsel for several corporations, including the TRW Corporation. A former chairman of the American Bar Association's Section of International Law and Practice, he served on the ABA's special task force on war crimes in the former Yugoslavia and was the U.S. chairman of a joint working group, organized by the American, Canadian, and Mexican bar associations, on the settlement of international disputes. Currently, King teaches International Arbitration and is U.S. director of the Canada-U.S. Law Institute.
Whitney R. Harris: Harris is author of Tyranny on Trial (1954), a major book about the Nuremberg Trials. In recent years he generously funded the establishment of The Whitney R. Harris Institute for Global Legal Studies at Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, bringing together experts from around the world to expand understanding of real-world issues and prepare lawyers for the professional challenges of the 21st Century. In addition to teaching law during his post-Nuremberg career, Harris was director of the Hoover Commission's Legal Services Task Force; served as the first Executive Director of the American Bar Association; and was Solicitor General of Southwestern Bell Telephone Company in St. Louis where he practiced law until his retirement. In 1998, Harris was a non-governmental delegate to the United Nations-sponsored conference that resulted in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
Background on the Cambodia Tribunal Monitor Web site:
The Cambodia Tribunal Monitor Web site is the leading independent source of news and information on the upcoming trials of senior officials of the Khmer Rouge regime for atrocity crimes. The Web site posts timely news updates and guest commentaries by leading international experts on the recent history of Cambodia, politics, human rights and international law. It also provides background information on the history of the Khmer Rouge and ECCC and important resources such as court documents and bibliographies of scholarly articles and books. Complete videotaped trial footage will be available throughout the court proceedings.
The Cambodia Tribunal Monitor was developed by a consortium of academic, philanthropic and non-profit organizations committed to providing public access to the tribunal and open discussion throughout the judicial process. The academic manager and sponsor of the site is Northwestern University School of Law's Center for International Human Rights, joined by co-sponsors Documentation Center of Cambodia and the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center. The prime sponsor of the site is the J.B. and M.K. Pritzker Family Foundation.
The Web site was conceived by Illinois State Senator Jeff Schoenberg, a Chicago-area legislator who also advises the Pritzker family on its philanthropy. In January 2007, Schoenberg participated in a trip sponsored by Build Cambodia, a U.S. based not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping Cambodians build their lives and society. As a result of the experience, Schoenberg enlisted the support of the aforementioned sponsors, and with their assistance the Cambodia Tribunal Monitor was created.
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