KR Tribunal Returns to Assembly’s Agenda

After a special session of the leg­islative committee Monday, the National Assembly put the Khmer Rouge law back on its agen­da. Officials promised to take up the draft legislation early next week.

Members of the as­sembly’s Le­gis­lation Commis­sion tentatively agreed to put the draft law before the full assembly July 11. The draft law to try those “most re­sponsible” for the Khmer Rouge genocide that killed at least 1 million Cambo­di­ans between 1975-1979 has been stalled since Feb­ru­ary, when the Con­­stitutional Coun­cil struck the legislation down on a technicality.

Minister of Cabinet Sok An and the committee members focused on Article 3 of the draft law, which was incorrect because it re­ferred to the death penalty—an illegal pun­­ishment under Cambodia’s Constitution.

The officials did not discuss the pos­­sible trial of former Khmer Rouge leader Ieng Sary, who King No­ro­­dom Sihanouk pardoned after he led a mass defection of Khmer Rouge regulars in 1996. Prime Minister Hun Sen has said that the amnesty should ap­ply to the new tribunal. That has brought criticism from hu­man rights officials, including the UN’s top human rights monitor for Cambodia, Peter Leuprecht.

The UN and the government must sign a memorandum of un­der­standing before the UN will participate in the tribunal.

After the meeting Monday, Sok An said he was not concerned with Leuprecht’s recent com­­ments saying the credibility of the tribunal would be undermined if Ieng Sary was not tried. The problems between the government and UN will work themselves out, one at a time, he said.

“We will negotiate with [the UN] after the National Assembly approves the law and the law gets promulgated,” Sok An said.

Sok An said that the start date of the tribunal’s work would de­pend on how long negotiations between the government and the UN take. “I think there should be no pro­blems in the negotiations be­cause on most of the principles, we already agree,” he said.



Related Stories

Latest News

The Weekly DispatchA new weekly newsletter from The Cambodia Daily delivering news, analysis and opinion to your inbox. Published every Friday at 11:30am. Sign up today.