Cambodia: Khmer Rouge Tribunal at risk as second judge resigns

The latest resignation of a judge from the UN-backed tribunal investigating crimes dating from the Khmer Rouge era in Cambodia is a significant setback in the victims’ search for justice, Amnesty International said.

“The victims of the Khmer Rouge atrocities must be feeling utter despair,” said Rupert Abbott, Amnesty International’s Cambodia researcher.

Judge Laurent Kasper-Ansermet today announced his resignation as International Reserve Co-Investigating Judge, citing a ‘dysfunctional situation’ at the tribunal.

With support from the UN, Judge Kasper-Ansermet had resumed investigations into Cases 003 and 004, which involve five individuals suspected of crimes against humanity and war crimes. The Cambodian government does not want these cases to proceed, and the tribunal’s National Co-Investigating Judge, You Bunleng, refused to cooperate with him.

“The Cambodian government’s obstruction of Cases 003 and 004 is denying justice to the victims of the Khmer Rouge.”

“The UN must demand that the Cambodian government desists from this political interference, and make clear the consequences should it continue,” said Rupert Abbott.