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US ambassador meets with ECCC officials

Ben Sokhean / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
KT/Chor Sokunthea

US Ambassador Patrick Murphy yesterday met with officials at the UN-backed Extraordinary Chambers in the Court of Cambodia to discuss the US’ further support in the Khmer Rouge tribunal.

Mr Murphy said on Twitter after the meeting that the US remains supportive.

“Since 1994, with passage in Congress of the Cambodian Genocide Justice Act, the US has supported the KR Tribunal [ECCC] and the pursuit of justice,” Mr Murphy said. “[I am] inspired to meet the many hard-working experts working to hold those responsible for atrocities accountable under the rule of law,” he said.

The US is one of the ECCC’s donors along with Japan, Australia, European Union, Germany, Sweden, UK and other nations.

US Embassy spokesperson Emily Zeeberg yesterday said in an email that so far the US government has contributed more than $30 million to the tribunal.

“Since 1994, with the passage in US Congress of the Cambodian Genocide Justice Act, the United States has contributed over $32 million to the Khmer Rouge Tribunal,” Ms Zeeberg said. “The US government continues to fund the ECCC through our contributions to the United Nations, and supports broader objectives to achieve justice by aiding civil society programmes aimed at documenting past atrocities,” she said.

Tribunal spokesman Neth Pheaktra yesterday confirmed that Mr Murphy visited the tribunal but declined to elaborate.

“I confirm that US Ambassador Patrick Murphy visited the ECCC today and met with officials at the ECCC. He visited the ECCC’s courtroom,” Mr Pheaktra said. “No more detail.”

Since the establishment of the hybrid court, it has cost $354.9 million, of which $271 million has been spent on the international component and the other $83.9 million on the national side, according to the ECCC.

So far three of the Khmer Rouge regime’s leaders have been sentenced to life imprisonment by the court for crimes during their reign from 1975 to 1979 when an estimated 1.7 million people died from execution, disease, starvation, and forced labour.

They are Kaing Guek Eav, alias Duch, who commanded the S-21, former head of state Khieu Samphan and former deputy secretary of the Communist Party of Kampuchea Nuon Chea who died in August.

Additionally, Pre-Trial Chamber yesterday announced that it will issue its decision on the appeals against the co-investigating judges’ closing orders in case 004/2 against former Khmer Rouge senior cadre Ao An Thursday.

The announcement came following the three-day appeal hearing against An in June.

Last year, the co-investigating judges issued separate closing orders against An.

The national co-investigating judge issued a dismissal of the case, finding that An did not fall within the personal jurisdiction of the court, but the international co-investigating judge indicted him for genocide, crimes against humanity and violations of the 1956 Cambodian Penal Code.

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