A group of victims of the Pol Pot regime demanded yesterday that the Khmer Rouge tribunal, upon completion of its work, donate its entire office inventory to them in order to establish 24 provincial “learning centers” to educate Cambodians about the Democratic Kampuchea era.
“No one else has a greater moral and legal right to these equipment and inventory than the civil parties for the welfare of all the victims,” the Association of Khmer Rouge Victims in Cambodia said in a statement.
The association listed what it considered a “minimum” inventory of the ECCC’s supplies, including 24 vehicles, 200 computers, 25 photocopiers and an undetermined number of desks, tables and chairs.
Civil parties at the tribunal are entitled to “collective and moral reparations”–symbolic compensation intended to benefit the entire group of civil parties–not individual monetary awards.
“We understand that there are no material reparations, but this can also be symbolic and moral because all this equipment has been awarded onto the tribunal to work for victims and find justice for them,” said Sok Leang, the interim director of the Center for Justice and Reconciliation, which advises the victims association.
Mr Leang added that the group–which comprises 160 victims of the regime, almost all of whom are civil parties applicants in the court’s second case–does not expect to receive the equipment until the tribunal completes its mandate, at least five years from now.
Lars Olsen, the tribunal’s legal affairs spokesman, said he could not comment on the group’s “hypothetical claim.”
“Before anyone can file claims for collective and moral reparations, there actually has to be a trial in Case 002 and we do not know at this point whether there will be a trial,” he said. If the case goes to trial and a formal claim is filed, awarding reparations is the “sole prerogative” of the court’s Trial Chamber, Mr Olsen said.