Prince Backs Cambodian Trial Control

National Assembly President Prince Norodom Ranariddh said Thursday he supports the government’s move to prevent a majority of international judges in a trial of Khmer Rouge leaders. But their participation is necessary to ensure a fair trial, he said.

“It is not reasonable of the UN to demand that there must be more international judges than Cambodian judges in a trial,” he said at the Pochentong Airport, returning from a three-day official visit to Indonesia for that country’s 59th independence day.

“Some Cambodian judges have sufficient capacity and international standards to join the trial,” Prince Ranariddh said.

But demanding a majority of international judges undermines Cambodia’s sovereignty, he said.

For justice to be done, the prince said, the investigations leading up to the trials need to be thorough. “We have to arrange the process more perfectly before trying people,” he said.

While the international community wants to bring Khmer Rouge leaders to justice, he said, Cambodia has additional concerns. “What we have to worry [about] is our national reconciliation and unity and security for the country.”

The UN, he said, should not push too hard too fast for trials. Cambodian government leaders and the international community should be given adequate time to devise a fair trial process, he said.

 

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