Friday, August 08, 2014

Selected Comments and Press Briefing during by Samdech Techo the Extraordinary Session of the Fifth Legislative National Assembly

[Unofficial Translation]

CNV: 08/08/2014
Firstly, I would like to express my warmest greeting to the presence of members of the National Assembly from the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP). I also convey my warm welcome to the idea raised in the speech of HE Sam Rainsy. I think if everything according to this spirit happened a year ago, Cambodian could have had one good year already (after the elections of the fifth legislative term of the National Assembly). What happened on 22 July 2014 was not much different to the spirit of the negotiation on 17 September 2013. Putting the two negotiation results next to one another, there is not much difference. Unfortunately, the situation had gone worse and sadness came to the country before conscience reigns. I strongly hope that HE Sam Rainsy and members of the CNRP will keep record of everything that we discussed on 16 and 17 of September 2013, on the phone on 9 April 2014 and again on 22 July 2014.

No Revenge – Fish and Ant Theory
HE Sam Rainsy has just reiterated in relation to the cessation of the so-called policy where fish would eat ants when it is flood time and vice versa when flood recedes. I would urge the Cambodian people in the whole country to take note of the speeches of leaders of the two political parties. We knew from where comes the insult and threat to place so and so in prison should one come to power. So long that the Cambodian People’s Party is in power, everyone is able to live together as has been shown in reality. I hope they heed their words “we are getting older let us perform good deed for our people”.

I have a firm hope that we, in the Cambodian People’s Party, will not be named puppet of Vietnam anymore. If you continue to name us that, it means we would continue to be enemy and that everything one talks here is only for obtaining good image. In this respect I am calling on every Buddhist monk and the whole people of Cambodia to take note of the speeches.

The 22 July 2014 negotiation has been great and we have to make efforts to implement all agreements. Today, we agree with each other that it is just the beginning of a long process, especially the internal regulation. In which we will be able to establish the tenth commission (on investigation and anti-corruption) of the National Assembly. We then proceed to dealing with the amendment of the Constitution regarding the organization and performance of the National Elections Committee, in which there will be electoral reforms and finally, the election of members of the National Elections Committee.

I am glad that we have come to an understanding. Yesterday, the situation had me so concerned when I received a report from HE Sar Kheng. However, when HE Sam Rainsy flexibly altered, we have come to this meeting today. I thank HE Sam Rainsy for his understanding.

Culture of Dialogue
As I said it yesterday, I had high concern if we could have this meeting or not. We still have issue to deal with leadership structure of the National Assembly with regard to members of the CNRP. One of you will have to sit up there (the First Vice President of the National Assembly) and five others for five other commissions. What we are doing now and hereon is to follow up what we have discussed and agreed. Next step, we will continue to work on amendment of internal regulation, as we have already agreed, basing on a culture of dialogue.

Let me take this chance to appeal to colleagues in the National Assembly, especially leaders in the permanent committee and in every commission of the National Assembly to work on basis of dialogue more than to bring about confrontation. This can be coordinated with the fact that there will be seven from the Cambodian People’s Party and six from the Cambodia National Rescue Party in the National Assembly’s commissions. In every commission, where anyone party’s candidate holds the post of head of the commission, there will be five members more from the said party and four from the other party. Let us work more on dialogue and try to understand each other for the sake of our country.

Hope There Will Be No More Insults
I have a strong hope that from now on fight by whatever means will die down. It is true that freedom of expression must be respected while a limit to it should also be a consideration. For example, we find it unacceptable to have been insulted as foreign puppet, especially the puppet of Vietnam. I wish that this must stop. If that will go on, the fact that you are here (in the National Assembly) means you are sitting with the Vietnamese puppet. I thank HE Sam Rainsy for making a statement on the issue. I thank HE Sar Kheng for taking over these difficult duties. In fact, HE Sam Rainsy had to contact with me. Due to the load of work I had, he had to work through HE Sar Kheng. We have created today’s situation not through scolding or confronting one another but from dialogue. I also thank all concerned working groups.

I also learnt the fact that HE Sam Rainsy, HE Eng Chhai Eang, etc., have been accused of taking my bribe of 20 million USD. Someone (sitting) in the National Assembly who made known that I bribed them 20 million USD. HE Sar Kheng, Tia Banh, Say Chhum, Bin Chhin, etc., all know about this. I am sure that these people are not so cheap to accept my bribe, if I have any. That was the source of the uncertainty feeling yesterday at around 12am. Even after midday, contacts to HE Sar Kheng came endlessly to include this and that. That brought me concern. I knew from where the opposition is. It is best that each party strikes internal deal before setting it out rather than because of internal issue, it creates problem to national level session of the National Assembly.

I have talked a bit too much. I am grateful to and welcome words expressed by HE Sam Rainsy. I would urge our people and Buddhist monks once again to take note of words of leaders of the two political parties – HE Sam Rainsy and I, that we will end the policy of fish eating ants at flood time and ants eating fish when flood recedes. Literally, the political concept of if there is you, there would not be me or vice versa and if I win I will have you in jail. It is true that we could have had this situation one year earlier. However, late is better than never. HE Sam Rainsy and I have agreed that complicate political issue must end today.

Post National Assembly’s Extraordinary Session Press Briefing
I am sure you press people have heard what HE Sam Rainsy said already as they might have let the voice be relayed to press room. The discussion today has gone out of the framework between only two political parties to a nationwide. People in the whole country have heard words from the mouths of HE Sam Rainsy and I. They – people and Buddhist monks, must take note of leaders of the two political parties. The basic issue is unity. Though it has come a year late, it still better than never. I am sure people of Cambodia in the whole country are joyous with clarification on the issue of revenge – in flood time ants eat fish and in flood recession time, fish eats ants, from HE Sam Rainsy. Whoever came to power is a matter but s/he should let those out of power live in peace. As I have stressed just now, when the Cambodian People’s Party rules the country, every party can live with us. I hope other party would do the same.

With regard to insult over the Cambodian People’s Party as the Vietnamese puppet, I have made it clear already. Let us wait and see if the politics of coloring one another would go on while leaders of both political parties are determined to the unity spirit. I think people can give point on which party would or would not abide by the spirit. We would increase education among CPP members of the National Assembly and those who support us to respect other political parties from different political tendency. We will see if they would subscribe to the same value. I am sure in the press industry you have better mean to follow this matter up.

With regard to this mindset of ants eating fish in flood time and fish eating ants in flood recession time, you may as well learnt that in about two third of my life, I cling on to dialogue, win-win and national reconciliation policy. Though some of you may belong to younger generation, but I am sure from your research and study, you will find out how I fought to get win-win policy to succeed in uniting the country. I hope that political parties will pursue this spirit and would not want our country to fall apart. I am confident in the words expressed by HE Sam Rainsy and I hope he will get on to educating his party internally to cease national division. CPP will do likewise.

As everyone can see, being in power for more than three decades, CPP has made all it can to mend national division and to reconcile the country changing it from confrontation to collaboration. It is to everyone’s knowledge that how hard they scold and how much they reprimand me, including my life. Finally, I just had to be the one to help organize everything. As of this moment, my mind is working on appealing members of the National Assembly from the CPP to vote for the CNRP’s candidate for the posts of First Vice President and Heads of commissions. Their votes will not suffice. There is a need for CPP to provide additional votes. My role is to make sure that CNRP will get the most votes. You may understand me as well as leaders of the CPP. All we want is for people to live in peace and work together for the country.

With regard to the law to protect the head of government, I think HE Sam Rainsy raised this issue once on 16-17 September. He said he would propose such a law and would seek the Cambodian People’s Party’s support. Later one, politicians exploited the proposition to be a protection sought by CPP. On 22 July 2014, HE Sam Rainsy brought the issue up again. I told him it is not necessary. If we raise the issue only to the benefit of exploiting it in propaganda, let everyone protects his/her own privilege. The point is if whether there will be respect for previous leaders or not. Things happen in many countries. In the Philippines, one of their former Presidents is still in prison. After Benigno Aquino retires, would he be safe? Even as incumbent President, he already had to face up with various accusations. I think it is not time yet. Perhaps, it is for your generation to think about this.

As for the verdict for the Khmer Rouge leaders, I followed it closely. I was lucky yesterday that I had time to watch it live on TV. I am happy with the verdict reached by the hybrid court. Sitting down to have lunch with my wife, after watching the court delivering verdicts to the former leaders (of the Khmer Rouge), I talked to my wife that we had to wait for 35 years and exactly eight months for this day. We toppled the genocide on 7 January 1979. No one recognized it. They even blamed us for bringing them down. They even accused us of falsifying proof. In the course of negotiating (for political settlement for Cambodia) I have made it clear that the most suitable place for the Khmer Rouge was in the court of justice not in the Supreme National Council.

Even in the Paris Peace Agreement, we had been refrained from referring to them as the regime of genocide but the prevention of the recent past. In 1979, the court of the former People’s Republic of Kampuchea, already gave the regime’s leaders a sentence. Yesterday, justice is served again. It proved that what we did 35 years ago was correct. It is a relief. Though those ageing leaders would not live long enough to serve the term, but the trial should please our people./.

លេចឮព័ត៌មាន​ថា លោក កឹម សុខា ចង់​ស្នើ​ឱ្យ​មាន​ការ​បោះ​ឆ្នោត​ជា​កញ្ចប់​ក្នុង​ការ​ជ្រើសតាំង​​ ប្រធាន អនុប្រធាន​ និង​គណៈកម្មការ​នានាក្នុង​រដ្ឋ​សភា​

យោង​តាម​ប្រភព​ព័ត៌មាន​ដែល​គួរឱ្យ​ជឿ​ទុកចិត្ត​ ពី​ផ្ទៃ​ក្នុងគណបក្ស​សង្គ្រោះ​ជាតិ​បាន​ឱ្យ​ដឹង​​ថា លោក កឹម សុខា ធានាថា ខ្លួន​ពិ​ត​ជា​បាន​ទទួល​ដំ​ណែង​ជា​អនុប្រធាន​ទី​១រដ្ឋសភា ក្នុង​ពេល​ឆាប់​ៗខាង​មុខ សម​ដូច​អ្វី​ដែល​លោក​ធ្លាប់​បាន​គិត​ថា ដំ​ណែង​ថ្មី​នេះ​នឹង​ផ្តល់ជូន​លោកនូវ​មាន​អំ​ណាច​ដ៏​រឹង​មាំ​ក្នុង​រដ្ឋ​សភា​។ 

ដើម្បី​បានសម្រេច​នូវ​គោល​បំ​ណង​នេះ​ លោក កឹម សុខា មាន​គំ​និត​ថា ​នឹង​ស្នើ​សុំ​ឱ្យ​មាន​ការ​បោះឆ្នោត​ជ្រើស​តាំងក្បាល​​ម៉ា​ស៊ីនរដ្ឋសភា​ ​ប្រធាន​ អនុប្រធាន ​ និង​គណៈកម្មការ​នានា​នៃ​​រដ្ឋសភា​ ក្នុង​ពេល​ជា​មួយ​គ្នា​ជា​កញ្ចប់​តែ​ម្តង​។

ប៉ុន្តែ បើ​យោង​តាម​អ្នក​ឯកទេស​នី​តិ​រដ្ឋ​ធម្ម​នុញ្ញ​បាន​ពន្យល់ថា ​ការ​បោះ​ឆ្នោត​ជា​កញ្ចប់​មិន​អាច​ធ្វើ​ទៅ​បាន​ទេ​ក្នុង​ដំ​ណាក់​កាល​នេះ​។ អ្នក​ច្បាប់​បាន​បន្ត​ទៀត​ថា បើ​យោង​តាម​ច្បាប់​ធម្ម​នុញ្ញ​បន្ថែម ដែល​រដ្ឋ​សភា​បាន​អនុម័ត​ កាល​ពី​ថ្ងៃ​ទី​៨ ខែ​កក្កដា ឆ្នាំ​២០០៤ ហើយ​ដែល​ព្រឹទ្ធ​សភា​បាន​ឱ្យ​យោបល់​​យល់​ព្រម​កាល​ពី​ថ្ងៃ​ទី​១២ ខែកក្កដា ឆ្នាំ​២០០៤ នា​សម័យ​ប្រជុំ​ពេញ​អង្គ​លើ​ក​ទី​៩ នីតិកាល​​ទី​១ ត្រង់​មាត្រា២ និង​មាត្រា​៣ ​ បាន​កំ​ណត់​យ៉ាង​ច្បាស់​ថា « តាម​សំ​ណើររបស់​គណបក្ស​​ដែល​មាន​អាសនៈច្រើន​ជា​ង​គេ ​ រដ្ឋសភាព​អាច​ដំ​ណើរការ​បោះ​ឆ្នោត​ជា​កញ្ចប់​បាន​ ដើម្បី​ជ្រើសតាំង​ប្រធាន​ អនុប្រធានរដ្ឋសភា ក៏​ដូច​ជា​ប្រធាន​ និង​អនុប្រធាន​គណៈកម្មការ​ ក្នុង​ពេល​ជា​មួយ​គ្នា​ និង​ការ​ផ្តល់​សេចក្តី​ទុកចិត្ត​ចំ​ពោះ​រាជ​រដ្ឋាភិបាល​ គឺ​សម្រាប់​តែ​នៅ​ដើមនីតិកាល​នី​មួយ​ៗ ​ក្នុង​ដំ​ណើ​រ​ការ​រៀប​ចំ​រដ្ឋសភា និង​រាជរដ្ឋាភិបាល​ថ្មី​តែ​ប៉ុណ្ណោះ​។

ដូចនេះ គំ​និត​របស់​លោក កឹម សុខា ដែល​ចង់ឱ្យ​មាន​ការ​​បោះ​ឆ្នោត​ជា​កញ្ចប់​ដើម្បី​ធានា​ថា ខ្លួន​ពិត​ជា​បាន​អំ​ណាច​ជាអនុប្រធានទី១​រដ្ឋ​សភា​នោះ​ អាច​ថា ជា​ការ​បំ​ពាន​លើ​បញ្ហា​ផ្លូវ​ច្បាប់៕​

Commentary: Justice at last

By Helen Jarvis
The sentencing of former Khmer Rouge leaders Khieu Samphan and Nuon Chea to life in prison for crimes against humanity on Thursday marks a day that has been long awaited in Cambodia.

It's a day that many people thought would never come to pass. Considering all the time that has elapsed since the crimes were committed, it's a miracle that we have come to today's judgment. Justice has been done at long last.

Life imprisonment is the maximum penalty that can be applied by the court and this has been handed down today to the two surviving leaders of the Khmer Rouge regime.

The verdict has been delivered despite the political and financial difficulties faced by the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia. The constant doubts and incessant criticism of the ECCC made things very difficult.

We know that the pace of international justice is very slow and that it has been eight years since the court was established. But the real difficulty was the time that elapsed before the court was set up.

So many of the survivors died in the intervening period. So did many perpetrators including Pol Pot himself and other senior leaders. In the end, we were left with only two.

The verdict has highlighted the importance of the court as a national court with international participation and assistance.

Other international courts tend to be distant from the crimes and also far removed from the victims so they don't have the same resonance and impact.

Here in Cambodia, a quarter of a million people came to the court during the trial of Khieu Samphan and Nuon Chea as well as the earlier trial of Tuol Sleng commandant Kaing Guek Eav, better known as Duch. 

Nothing like this has ever happened anywhere in the world and this is quite unique.

The other unprecedented aspect has been the direct participation of civil parties. We had almost 4,000 civil parties in this case. They were able to tell their stories in court, explain their sufferings and claim reparations.

The decision by the court on reparations is most welcome. The different measures requested by civil parties range from making May 20 a National Remembrance Day and building memorials including one in Phnom Penh dedicated to all those evacuated from the city in 1975.

Other reparations cover areas such as school textbooks, testimonial and self-help therapy to assist victims who are still suffering extreme emotional distress along with both permanent and mobile exhibitions explaining what happened under the Khmer Rouge and the work of the court itself. 

It's a wide range of creative and positive reparations especially requested by the victims.

Many who doubted the process have questioned the amount of money spent by Cambodia and the international community on the proceedings. 

Equivalent to around $100 a head for the almost two million people who died under the Khmer Rouge, it seems a small price to pay for the families of the victims and the younger generation of Cambodians for which this dark period in the country's history has until now been obscure.

Two "Killing Fields" leaders get life behind bar, sends message to Iraq and Sudan

PHNOM PENH, August 7, 2014  –Former Khmer Rouge chief ideologue and chairman of parliament Nuon Chea and former head of state Khieu Samphan, were sentenced on Thursday to life imprisonment for crimes against humanity they committed in 1970s. The United States said such move sends message to Iraq and Sudan that “people committed such atrocity cannot escape when the time arrive.”

The Trial Chamber of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) found Nuon Chea, 88, and Khieu Samphan, 83, guilty of crimes against humanity committed between 17 April 1975 and December 1977 and sentenced them to life imprisonment.

Both Cambodia and the United Nations are pleased with the judgment.

His Excellency Deputy Prime Minister Dr. Sok An, also Chairman of the Royal Government Task Force for the Khmer Rouge Trials, told reporters after the ECCC delivered  judgment that, “it is a historical day, a milestone step that the court delivered justice we have been waiting for so long. We never lost sight of justice for the victims of these horrors so we welcome this delivery of judgment and we are happy to see this is the conclusion."

“The judgment today also means reduce and relief the painfulness and sufferings of the Cambodian people inflicted by the Khmer Rouge. I am quite pleased with this judgment meets the international justice,” said H.E Dr. Sok An.

“The ECCC has fully implemented its due process of law and proved that this tribunal is competent and capable to find justice for the victims although we went through some hiccups along the road in the past,” he said.

The Cambodia’s ruling party has claimed that more than 3 million died under the ‘Killing Field’ is also known as Khmer Rouge regime due to forced labor, starvation, medical neglect and execution committed by the Khmer Rouge between 17 April 1975 and 6 January 1979.

The country’s infrastructure was grounded zero during Pol Pot, leader of the regime, ruled this Southeast Asian nation.

"We've built up our country from scratch after the liberation from the genocide, the regime of horror," His Excellency Dr. Sok An, also Minister in charge of the Office of the Council of Ministers, told journalists.

U.S. Ambassador-at-Large of the United States for War Crimes Issues, Stephen Rapp, said at the joint conference along with Sok An and David Scheffer, that: “this judgment also sends message to Sudan and Iraq… that there is not escape in this life when the day will arrive.. By this way we can prevent others from harm people.”

David Scheffer, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Expert on the UN Assistance to the Khmer Rouge Trials, told reporters that “I’ve been told before that we will never reach this day, but today we did and the international criminal justice is rendered for Cambodians.”

“This is a great leap forward of this court,” said Scheffer.
Cambodia and U.N. said in its joint statement that: “the Royal Government of Cambodia and the United Nations Secretary-General has repeatedly emphasized that there must be no impunity for the most serious international crimes. The independent judicial process must be permitted to run its course to ensure that those who would perpetrate serious crimes are held accountable”.

The European Union said in its release that, it welcomed the verdict pronounced today by the Judges of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia in the case 002/1 against former senior leaders of Democratic Kampuchea: Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan.

“Their condemnation is an important positive step in the global fight against impunity. It demonstrates that any political leaders can be held accountable for their acts, even decades after they were committed,” said the EU’s release.

A Cambodian survivor of the ‘Killing Fields’, Kob Sa, 65, from the northern province of Kampong Thom province, said: “the judgment can totally heal the old wound I suffered from the Khmer Rouge’s rule 3 years, 8 months and 20 days, but it at least reduces my painfulness and angers inside my heart.”

Kob Sar himself has 10 relative members died under the Democratic Kampuchea regime, known as Khmer Rouge or Killing Fields.

Another survivor, Ya Ly, 66, said that he has two siblings died under Khmer Rouge, and said that he is pleased with the punishment of life sentence behind bar for Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan.

“I have never thought that the leaders of Khmer Rouge will be brought to stand trial. But the court did now,” said Ly sat in the shade of trees outside the court where he listened to the loudspeaker aired from the tribunal.

Many Cambodians clapping hands outside the court shortly after they heard the judge pronounced life sentence for Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan.

Nuon Chea was the Deputy Secretary of the Communist Party of Kampuchea (CPK) and a member of both the CPK Central and Standing Committees.

Nuon Chea, with Pol Pot, exercised the ultimate decision-making power of the Party. He officially exercised the role of Acting Prime Minister of Democratic Kampuchea (DK) on several occasions from September 1976 up until 1977 when Pol Pot resumed his duties. Due to his seniority within the CPK leadership, Nuon Chea enjoyed oversight of all Party activities extending beyond the roles and responsibilities formally entrusted to him during the DK period.

Khieu Samphan became a candidate member of the CPK Central Committee in 1971 and a full-rights member in 1976. He was one of two members of Office 870 which oversaw the implementation of the decisions of the CPK Standing Committee. As a member of Office 870 he was responsible for commerce and played an important role in matters of economics and foreign trade in the Democratic Kampuchea (DK).

In April 1976, Khieu Samphan was appointed President of the State Presidium. While this was a largely symbolic role with no executive power, he had the confidence and trust of the other members of the Party Centre and he participated in meetings of the Central and Standing Committees.

His Excellency Deputy Prime Minister Dr. Sok An, also Chairman of the Royal Government Task Force for the Khmer Rouge Trials, said that the tribunal, however, is still facing two main challenges which are the old/advanced age of the two convicted.

Pol Pot was never brought to stand trial. He died of natural cause in 1998 in AnglongVeng district in Oddar Meanchey province borders with Thailand.

Ieng Sary, its foreign minister, died in March last year during the trial. His wife Ieng Thirith, Khmer Rouge 'first lady', was discharged from hospital in Thailand recently.

Former Khmer Rouge military chief one-legged Ta Mok, one of Pol Pot's most ruthless henchmen and a key defendant in the "Killing Fields" trials, died in 2006.

Kaing GuekEav, better known as Duch, the former chief of the notorious Tuol Sleng Prison, was sentenced to 35 years in prison in 2010 for crimes against humanity.

His Excellency Dr. Sok An also raised another challenge which is financial difficulty the ECCC is facing.

The Cambodian component of the ECCC needs $6.4 million to operate for the whole year of 2014.

Scheffer, however, said that the financial issue is “an old story”, given it is not the first time that the national side of the ECCC faced in the past, and he is optimistic that new donors, such as Latin American, will come up with financial contributions to the court in the future.

The ECCC’s expenditure is recorded much less than other UN-funded tribunals such as The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and The Special Court for Sierra Leone.

The ECCC spends about $27 million a year compares with the two other courts spend more than $100 million a year each.

EU, which has contributed substantially to the functioning of the ECCC over the last years, said in its release that, “the EU intends to continue its support in the interest of justice for the victims of the Khmer  Rouge regime and to contribute to the national reconciliation process in Cambodia." End.

ពិធី​បិទ​មហា​សន្និបាទ​កាក​បាទ​ក្រហម​កម្ពជា​អាណត្តិ​ទី៦ ក្រោម​អធិ​បតីភាព​ដ៏ខ្ពង់​ខ្ពស់ សម្តេ​ច​អគ្ក​មហា​សេនា​បតី​តេជោ ហ៊ុន សែន នាយក​រដ្ឋមន្ត្រី នៃព្រះរា​ជា​ណាចក្រ​កម្ពុជា​

U.N., Cambodia exchange views on the "Killing Fields" tribunal on the eve of the court's judgment

PHNOM PENH, Aug. 6, 2014  – Mr. Stephen Mathias, UN Assistant Secretary General for Legal Affairs, exchanged views on late Tuesday. 6 August 2014 with Cambodia’s Deputy Prime Minister Dr. Sok An on the development of trials of the senior surviving leaders of Khmer Rouge who are blamed for the deaths of more than 3 million Cambodians in the 1970s. The trial chamber will announce a verdict on Thursday, Aug. 7 for the two surviving leaders of Khmer Rouge.

The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) is currently trying two aging former Khmer Rouge’s leaders namely, former head of state Khieu Samphan, 83, and chief ideologue and chairman of parliament Nuon Chea, 88, for crimes against humanity, war crimes, and other offences.

Former Khmer Rouge foreign minister Ieng Sary died in March last year during the trial.

U.N. and Cambodia also discussed the budget shortfall of the national component of ECCC. The issues of the replacement a U.N. judge, the ECCC’s legacy, judicial and non-judicial measure in respect of reparations were also mentioned.

The United Nations and Cambodia spent 6 years of torturous negotiations a deal was inked in 2003, and followed the establishment of the ECCC in 2006 to try the most senior leaders of the Democratic Kampuchea, better known as Killing Fields or Khmer Rouge, led by Pol Pot who died of  natural cause in 1998 in Anlong Veng district near the Thai border.

The historical milestone
H.E. Dr. Sok An, who is also Chairman of the Royal Government Task Force for the Khmer Rouge Trials, told the U.N. delegation in the meeting that the ECCC is now approaching the 7 Aug which is the milestone day of the tribunal for the case 002 which is the most important case.

“We can that it marks the good success of the court. We understand this as a common success of the Kingdom of Cambodia and the international community, particular the United Nations, as a whole,” he said.

“We can say that this court is our common baby. So, this success is really the common success. But there is still challenge of financial issue ahead of us. Another challenge is the very old age of the two accused since their health status is not good,” said Dr. Sok An.

Mathias said that he is pleased to witness the delivery of the verdict on August 7, and echoed Cambodia that “it is a historic milestone not only for the people of Cambodia but also the international criminal justice”.

Kaing Guek Eav, better known as Duch, the former chief of the notorious Tuol Sleng Prison, had his sentence reduced to 19 years by the U.N.-backed court that convicted him, as because he already spent 11 years in pre-trial detention center.

The others awaiting trial are "Brother Number Two" Nuon Chea, the regime's ex-president Khieu Samphan. Ieng Sary, its foreign minister, died and his wife, Khmer Rouge 'first lady', was discharged from hospital in Thailand.

The Financial difficulties
The international and national components remain in financial difficulties although it is not server as sometimes in the past, both sides however said that they are pleased with the court’s performance and are committed to fund gap for the national staff salaries.

The United Nations is appreciated Cambodia’s government had committed an additional $1 million to meet the salary for the 1st quarter this year, but despite efforts the budget is still short for the national component, said Cambodia’s government officials.

The ECCC has so far spent about $217 million from 2006 till now. Cambodia’s contributions in both cash and kind are about 10 percent of the court’s total budget, making Cambodia is the second largest contributor after Japan.

Cambodia has to face the reality that it cannot further increase this already significant contribution without jeopardizing the country’s judicial reform program, as the funds for the ECCC already exceed the commitment from the national budget to the country’s Supreme Court by 257% and to the Appeals Court by 300%.

Last month, Dr. Sok An requested that the British government make up the financial shortfall of $125,000 for the month of July for the national side of the court. In response, the British charge d’ affairs said that she will take such Cambodia’s request to London for consideration.

The Cambodian side of the ECCC needs $6.4 million to operate for the whole year of 2014.

Judge replacement
Cambodia and United Nations are working to appoint a U.N. appointed Judge Claude Fenz to judge Silvia Cartwright who is leaving soon.

Mr. Mathias said that for the nomination of judge Fenz is good news and that expect to wrap up soon.

“We are hoping that the U.N. Secretary General is in the position to forward the nominee to you soon, so the reserved international judge chamber can be in good time and there won’t be a delayed to the case 002,” he told Dr. Sok An.

In response, Dr. Sok An said that we are working on a process of replacement judge Catrize who will be leaving. We will get thing done within 4 weeks from now”.

The ECCC’s legacies, the ECCC as a model

H.E. Deputy Prime Minister Dr. Sok An, who is also Chairman of the Royal Government's Khmer Rouge Trial Task Force, said that the ECCC has achieved the five world records.

Those are: speed in carrying out its work including adoption of internal rules and conducting the first trial; its relatively low cost; the swift and smooth arrest of all charged persons within four months and the  absence of any fugitives; the extent of public participation and support, and the involvement of victims in the judicial process.

Other legacies achieved by the ECCC including dealing with the most important case of the crimes compared with other tribunals funded by the United Nations.

Another aspect of the Court’s legacy is the archiving of its records at a documentation centre, where national and international researchers can access such records in the future.

Japan has pledged its donation for a centre to keep the legal records of Cambodia's Khmer Rouge tribunal. The documentation centre will store the public records of the ECCC.

Mr. Mathias said that the documentations and the archives be available to researchers and students for long run and at the appropriate time when the court is complete its work.

“Certainly the United Nations will be interested in working with the government to agree on the deposition of the archive of the court,” he said.

Mr. Mathias also said that, “we view the participation of the Cambodian people in the ECCC as one of the great accomplishments”.

The ECCC said that an estimated 240,000 people attended the court to witness the hearings.

“The ECCC is unique in the level of participation of the people and other courts have a lot to learn from the ECCC in term of the court’s legacies that you discussed,” said Mathias.

“We do think that the ECCC is an important model for dealing with mass crimes. I can tell you that even in the recent months as they had been discussed at the United Nations about creating a new account mechanism in countries that suffering through situation such mass crimes,” he said.

“There have been frequent references to the ECCC as a model. States are more and more interest in the ideas of the accountability mechanism being part of the national system of the host country with strong international support in that context ECCC is always mentioned. So, you are quite right that about it,” Mathias told Dr. Sok An

H.E. Dr. Sok An said that the ECCC is also committed to its collective and moral reparations which are classified into categories including: remembrance and demoralization, rehabilitation, documentation, education, and psychological and mental health support.

The ECCC is the only international criminal jurisdiction that allows civil party, which represents the victims of the Khmer Rouge, to fully participate in the process of proceedings and hearing.

The ECCC also looks into the non-judicial measures (NJM) which includes the peace learning center in Takeo province, Memorial at Tuol Sleng Museum, Gender-based violence project as well as the ECCC’ legal documentation center and victim foundation.

The court’s reparation program has grasped great attention of the stakeholders including the ambassador of France who said that France looks to build a memorial site in front of the embassy of France.

“We are already worked with the ministry of culture to set up a memorial site at Tuol Sleng genocide museum,” Dr. Sok An told Mathias who said: “Thank you again for all the efforts your government has made in working with the United Nations to support our common baby and we look forward to continue good cooperation”.