The Khmer Rouge tribunal on Thursday delivered a confidential note to the Royal Palace in response to a recent invitation by retired King Norodom Sihanouk, the tribunal’s UN component announced.
The letter was in reply to an Aug 30 invitation for the court’s UN staffers to attend a three-hour filmed discussion about the retired King’s experiences during the Khmer Rouge era.
“The private response was delivered by courier through the appropriate channels,” Peter Foster, the tribunal’s UN spokesman, wrote in an e-mail.
In his Aug 30 statement, Norodom Sihanouk said the televised discussion would take the place of any future testimony by himself.
However, on Wednesday he wrote in a statement released to the press that he had lost five children and 14 grandchildren to the Khmer Rouge regime but had not directly witnessed atrocities and had nothing further to add to his previous public statements on the period.
“I do not have anything else to say to the ECCC UN,” he wrote.
Foster said Thursday that while he could not reveal the contents of the letter he remained personally unaware of any plan for ECCC staff to attend the palace on Saturday.
Oum Daravuth, cabinet member at the Royal Palace, said that he had neither seen the letter from the tribunal nor discussed it yet with the retired King.
“We don’t mention this yet,” he said, adding that the UN appeared to be rebuffing a genuine offer.
“The King Father has opened the door with sincerity on his Web site when he invited the ECCC UN, and the ECCC UN has closed this door,” he said.