KR Tribunal Complaints Being Processed

The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia said Thursday that it is acting on the hundreds of complaints victims have filed with the court and that all complainants will be consulted by the court.

Some complainants said earlier this week they had yet to receive official recognition months after filing complaints with the court.

However Gabriela Gonzalez Rivas, deputy head of the newly-created Victims Unit, said Thurs­day that the complainants have not been ignored and that the court will be working with them each individually.

“We are trying to make sure that all the applicants that are interested in participating in the proceedings are able to participate,” she said.

At a Pre-Trial Chamber hearing at the court Monday, civil parties participated for the first time in the proceedings of an internationalized war crimes tribunal.

In a statement released Thurs­day, the Victims Unit and Office of the Co-Prosecutors said complaints received so far will be used either in ongoing judicial investigations or in deciding whether to begin new investigations by the prosecution.

The new head of the Victims Unit, which began operations last month and currently has nine staff positions, is to begin work later this month.

Youk Chhang, director of the Documentation Center of Cambo­dia, which has collected the bulk of the more than 500 victim complaints so far submitted to the court, said the organization hopes to submit 10,000 victim complaints by the end of the year.

Those submitted by ethnic minorities could help the court broaden the range of charges currently being brought by the court, he said.

“For the ethnic Vietnamese, Chinese, hilltribes and Islamic Cham, it provides background for the investigators to look into charges of genocide,” he said.

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