A strange notion of justice

[This letter was sent to the Cambodia Daily on June 6, 2011, in response to a page-long article in which Heather Ryan, of the Open Society Justice Initiative (funded by George Soros) denounced what she expected to be ruling of the Khmer Rouge tribunal. The Daily did not publish this response.]

I do not have what appears to be Heather Ryan’s privileged knowledge about the contents of cases 003 and 004 in the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia trying the Khmer Rouge. But I do know that she has no legitimate access to such information. The internal rules of the ECCC adopted by the judges in 2007 specify confidentiality in such matters until a person has been charged, for reasons that ought to be obvious, especially to an organization that claims to be a defender of human rights.

Neither Ryan nor her employer, the Open Society Justice Initiative, has been granted an exemption from that rule. So Ryan’s assertions about what is alleged in the cases is either an invention on her part or the trafficking of illicitly obtained reports – which may or may not be accurate.

As regards the limited substance of Ryan’s article, she believes the investigation was “illusory” and “token” (on what evidence, she doesn’t say). Cambodian court officials “at all levels” have “refused to cooperate in moving the cases forward”.

In fact, the cases have been moving forward. But it seems that they have not been moving in the direction favored by OSJI.

The agreement between the Cambodian government and the UN left it up to the judges of the ECCC to determine which potential defendants were covered by the term “senior leaders and those most responsible for the most serious crimes” of the Khmer Rouge. Presumably, that is one of the things that the co-investigating judges have been doing in regard to cases 003 and 004.

The fact that David Scheffer (“and others with significant background regarding the ECCC”, whatever that means) think that the potential defendants fit that description is irrelevant. Scheffer and OSJI and the “significant” others are not the judges.

When courts rule, it’s a foregone conclusion that one of the parties to a case, and those who support its view, will be unhappy. OSJI, thanks to its illegitimate sources, has decided that it’s unhappy well in advance of the court announcing its decision. Ryan’s article therefore attempts to discredit the expected decision, mainly via unsupported accusations that would be legally defamatory if more directed at identifiable individuals.

This gives us an interesting insight into the “justice” we can expect in the “open society” promoted by OSJI. In the brave new world funded by George Soros, court decisions (or pending decisions) can be reversed by scurrilous media campaigns of those who can afford them.

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