UN Backs Australian in Victims Unit
Original report from Phnom Penh
10 June 2009
UN administrators at the Khmer Rouge tribunal publicly backed the promotion of an Australian woman to the court’s Victims Unit, in response to criticism she is close to the government and not a native Cambodian.
Knut Rosanhaug, the UN’s deputy administrator for the tribunal, said his administration “fully supports” Helen Jarvis, who had come under fire from defense lawyers and court monitors in recent weeks.
Both defense teams for Ieng Sary and Nuon Chea say her close association with the government, including as a former adviser and a member of the task force to establish the tribunal, compromise her.
Jarvis took the helm of the Victims Unit, which is in charge of outreach and processing for victims who wish to file suit under tribunal rules, earlier this year after its first chief resigned.