KR Tribunal Prosecution Counters Bias Claim Against Boyle

A legal action at the Khmer Rouge tribunal accusing investigator David Boyle of potential bias against war crimes suspect Ieng Sary is erroneous and should be dismissed outright, prosecutors have argued.

Lawyers for the 82-year-old former Khmer Rouge foreign minister have impugned the impartiality of Boyle, an investigator for the court’s co-investigating judges.

In public statements prior to the court’s creation, Boyle said Ieng Sary may be tried despite his 1996 pardon, which the defense said is a matter under review by the court.

The defense made an appeal on the matter to the court’s Pre-Trial Chamber this month after the co-investigating judges refused a request for information about Boyle’s remarks about Ieng Sary.

“An investigator’s expression of opinion on legal issues relating to the Khmer Rouge and the establishment of the ECCC…does not, ipso facto, disqualify that person from working in a legal office,” Co-Pros­ecutors Chea Leang and Ro­b­ert Petit wrote in a pleading dated Monday.

While some legal systems do allow the disqualification of law clerks, this tends to apply to those who assist judges in deciding guilt or innocence, which is not the case with Boyle’s work, they wrote.

Court rules do not allow for the disqualification of investigators or “sweeping” requests for information about them, they said.

The prosecutors also made a bald assertion that the Ex­tra­ordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cam­bodia are more international than Cambodian.

“This Court, being an inter­­nationalized court, applies international norms and standards,” Petit and Chea Leang wrote, referring to in­ter­national precedents on

On Wednesday, the European Commission said it is planning a large donation to the tribunal’s Cambodian side, though the exact amount was not revealed.

“The EC is not planning to contribute funds to the UN side of the court,” Daniel Costa Llobet, first secretary at the EC delegation to Cambodia, wrote in an e-mail.

So far in 2008, the Cambodian government, Japan, France and Australia have donated over $5.7 million to the court, with 87 percent going to the Cambodian side, which is seeking an additional $6.1 million to the end of next year.

Peter Foster, spokesman for the court’s UN side, said Wednesday that it was still early days. “The fundraising has just begun,” he said. “I have no doubt that we’ll get the funding we need.”


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