UN Defends Role in KR Tribunal Following Rebuke

David Scheffer, the U.N.’s special expert on the Khmer Rouge tribunal, has defended the international body following a report slamming its failure to speak out about government interference in cases 003 and 004.

Arrest warrants for suspects Meas Muth and Im Chaem, which were issued in March by Co-Investigating Judge Mark Harmon, have yet to be executed by police.

In a report released Thursday, the Open Society Justice Initiative (OSJI) said the U.N.’s silence amid the failure of Cambodia’s government to take action in the controversial cases was hurting the credibility of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC).

“As the Justice Initiative has argued consistently, by ignoring government interference in the progress of Case 003 and 004, the UN and the court’s international officials are damaging the ECCC as an institution,” the report says.

Mr. Scheffer, however, said in an email on Friday that the U.N. has not been ignoring the issue, and has been “engaged in regular communications with the Royal Government of Cambodia at a senior level regarding this matter.”

“The characterization by OSJI that the United Nations is not engaged on this issue is inaccurate,” he added.


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