‘Interference’ with the ECCC

[Sent to the Phnom Penh Post on 21 October. Not published.]

Have I missed something? According to Patricia O’Brien (Post, October 21), the United Nations Office of Legal Affairs considers statements of government ministers on Khmer Rouge tribunal Cases 003 and 004 as “interfering” in the court.

Has the OLA ever said a word about the two-year public campaign by international NGOs to pressure the judges to charge the suspects in this case? Has it said anything about the improper and contemptuous leaking of the names of the suspects? When a former US ambassador wrote publicly that a judicial decision to proceed with the cases would result in increased funding for the court, did the OLA call on the US to refrain from “interfering”?

Of course not. That was just freedom of speech, the inalienable right of everyone except the Cambodian government.

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