Which standards were those?

[Sent to the Cambodia Daily in March 2002. Not published.]

Your article on 15 March quotes Kofi Annan saying of the Rwandan and Yugoslavian war crimes trials, “We would not want to stay in business forever; we would want to convict those accused and close our doors.” Funny, but I seem to recall that trials used to have more than one possible outcome.

Perhaps this explains the UN decision to pull out of the KR tribunal. The Cambodian law does not treat accusation and conviction as equivalents, but assigns judges the role of deciding whether the accused are guilty or innocent. Evidently this is contrary to “international standards” as practiced by the Secretary-General.

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