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U.N. Experts to Decide whether to B
- Subject: U.N. Experts to Decide whether to B
- From: Rangoonp@xxxxxxx
- Date: Mon, 09 Nov 1998 22:28:00
Subject: U.N. Experts to Decide whether to Bring Khmer Rouge to Justice
If they bring the Khmer Rouge to justice, they MUST also bring the
SLORC / SPDC leaders to justice for their atrocities in the past 30 +
U.N. Experts to Decide whether to Bring Khmer Rouge to Justice
UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- After years of inaction, the United
Nations is sending three experts to Cambodia next week to
determine whether to bring Khmer Rouge leaders to justice
for the 1970s genocide that left as many as 2 million people
"Nothing has been done so far on the horrendous crimes
committed between 1975-79 by the Khmer Rouge. No one
has been arrested for these crimes. There hasn't even been
an apology," Thomas Hammarberg, the secretary-general's
special representative on human rights in Cambodia, told a
news conference Friday.
The experts will evaluate the evidence against the Khmer
Rouge, see how it would stand up in any international
proceeding, and consult with Cambodians to assess the
desire and feasibility of bringing Khmer Rouge leaders
before a court, he said.
"It may not end up in anything. It may be just too, too
difficult," but Hammarberg said he was hopeful -- "I think
something will happen."
If there is enough evidence -- and Hammerberg noted that
like the Nazis in World War II, the Khmer Rouge left
substantial documentation of their activities -- he expects
experts to recommend how to proceed.
Hammarberg said he envisioned two options: for the
Cambodians themselves to start a trial with international
assistance, or for the international community to set up a
tribunal in the Netherlands similar to the one for
"For the sake of the Cambodians, it would be interesting if
could take place there, or very close, because it's a
of catharsis -- for them to see justice is made," he said.
The experts will determine if prosecutions should be under
the genocide convention, for crimes against humanity, or
under some other statute, he said.
Secretary-General Kofi Annan announced the appointment
of the three experts in July: former Australian Gov. Gen.
Ninian Stephen, who served on the Yugoslav tribunal and
was named chairman; Rajsoomer Lallah, the U.N.'s human
rights investigator for Myanmar; and Stephen Ratner, a
professor at the University of Texas Law School.
The three have been at the United Nations reading
documents and attending briefings, and will arrive in Phnom
Penh on Nov. 14, Hammarberg said. They are expected to
submit their recommendations by the end of January, he
During a meeting last week, Hammarberg said King
Sihanouk told him, "I want this to happen." He said Hun Sen,
the de facto leader of Cambodia, is also very much in favor
of bringing the Khmer Rouge leaders to justice -- as are
opposition leaders including Sam Rainsy and Prince
Many of the former Maoist-inspired Khmer Rouge guerrillas
ended years of civil war in 1996. Their chief, Ieng Sary,
received a pardon in exchange for halting the fighting and
leading his men out of the jungle. Amnesty has also been
granted to other top guerrillas to make peace.
But three high-ranking holdouts are still roaming the Thai
border with a few hundred guerrillas and remain wanted.
Longtime Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot died in April,
reportedly of a heart attack.