A former investigator at the Khmer Rouge tribunal threatened to take legal action on Monday after accusing the court’s French Co-Investigating Judge Marcel Lemonde of violating copyright protections on software used to manage a witness database.
Abraham Haddad, a former UN analyst under Judge Lemonde who stepped down on Sept 29, became the second former subordinate of Judge Lemonde to level accusations of unethical conduct.
Wayne Bastin, the former chief of intelligence and analysis for the office of the co-investigating judges, accused Judge Lemonde last year of giving biased instructions and endangering the secrecy of the investigation.
The court yesterday denied Mr Haddad’s allegations.
“Irrespective of any legal action that I may or may not take, this incident clearly shows that Marcel Lemonde believes that he is above the law and feels that he can do anything he wishes,” Mr Haddad wrote in an e-mail yesterday.
In e-mail correspondence, Mr Haddad complained in December that Judge Lemonde had authorized changes to his proprietary software that could cause it to fail. In a message on Monday to Mr Lemonde’s office, Mr Haddad said he had decided to take the matter to court.
“I will be seeking a legal remedy with regard to Marcel’s unethical behavior,” he wrote in the message, a copy of which was obtained Monday.
“I do not wish to embarrass the ECCC but you leave me no option,” Mr Haddad wrote, adding that he would also complain to the UN Office of Internal Oversight Services and to the Office of Legal Affairs in New York.
It was unclear yesterday in which jurisdiction Mr Haddad could bring any action against Mr Lemonde.
Under the law establishing the tribunal, judges are granted immunity for all actions taken in performing their work. Furthermore, the World Trade Organization in 2005 gave Cambodia until 2013 to begin enforcing copyright laws and accepting patents.
According to Lars Olsen, legal affairs spokesman for the court, Judge Lemonde referred questions about Mr Haddad to Knut Rosandhaug, the court’s Deputy Director of Administration.
“This is a matter between Haddad and the office of the Deputy Director of Administration and does not concern Judge Lemonde,” said Mr Olsen, speaking on behalf of Mr Rosandhaug.
“We have no reason to believe the allegations are true,” Mr Olsen added.