The cash-strapped Khmer Rouge tribunal is in peril. Judges have quit, citing political interference. Lawyers claim to have been censored, and victims are outraged that the court has only completed one case.
But it has successfully sentenced the Khmer Rouge's chief jailer to life in prison for war crimes and the trial of three top leaders is ongoing.
The third foreign judge in a year has now been appointed to investigate two politically sensitive new cases involving five suspects linked to the brutal regime. But further trials are in doubt because of funding trouble and resistance from the Cambodian government to prosecuting more Khmer Rouge figures, saying it could destabilise the country.
Now the court, known as the ECCC, is making a renewed push for foreign funding and support. The FCCT welcomes the UN Secretary General's Special Expert on the United Nations Assistance to the Khmer Rouge Trials, Ambassador David Scheffer, who charged with this difficult task, to speak about these many challenges.
Ambassador Scheffer was the first U.S. Ambassador at Large for War Crimes Issues (1997-2001) and led the U.S. delegation in UN talks establishing the International Criminal Court. He was also played a central role in the negotiations to set up the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, the Special Court for Sierra Leone and the ECCC. He is a Professor of Law and Director of the Center for International Human Rights at Northwestern University.
Please join us for this candid discussion.
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