Recent Developments at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia
A new report released by the Open Society Justice Initiative examines the latest news and developments from the Extraordinary Chambers in Courts of Cambodia, the court established to try surviving leaders of the Khmer Rouge.
The developments described in the report include several major steps over the past two months, including:
- The Pre-Trial Chamber's rejection of Nuon Chea's argument that Judge Ney Thol should be disqualified from participating in his case;
- The hiring of staff for the Victims Unit and the beginning of civil parties' participation in the ECCC;
- The announcement of a revised budget for the court, seeking an additional $113.7 million, amid reports that the Cambodian side of the court could exhaust its budget by March 2008; and
- The participation of investigating judges in community outreach meetings held in Pailin, the former Khmer Rouge stronghold.
The 18-page report provides an overview of recent developments in the cases of all five defendants now in the court's custody: Ieng Sary, Khieu Samphan, Nuon Chea, Kaing Guek Eav, and Ieng Thirith. The report describes Nuon Chea's efforts to disqualify Judge Ney Thol and provides a critique of the Pre-Trial Chamber's response. The report also looks at action outside the courtroom, including expansion of the Victims Unit, which will help victims become involved in the trials.
In addition, the report addresses some of the court's pressing challenges, including:
- Lack of transparency at the ECCC, as evinced by the court's failure to release pleadings related to Pre-Trial Chamber proceedings, and inadequate information about the progress of investigations;
- The Cambodian government's opposition to the UN proposal for a special advisor to improve the court's administration; and
- The ECCC's announcement of a revised budget, against the backdrop of reported shortfalls in the budget for the Cambodian side of the court.
The new report, Recent Developments at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia: February 2008, is the latest in a series of monthly reports offering news, analysis, and recommendations directly from Phnom Penh.
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