UN legal chief urges Cambodia government not to interfere with Khmer Rouge tribunal John Paul Putney at 7:10 AM ET
[JURIST] UN Under-Secretary General for Legal Affairs Patricia O'Brien on Thursday urged the government of Cambodia to refrain from interfering with the UN-backed tribunal tasked with trying those alleged responsible for mass killings and other crimes committed under the Khmer Rouge [JURIST news archive; BBC backgrounder]. In a meeting in with Cambodia's Deputy Prime Minister Sok An to discuss recent developments at the tribunalthe Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) [official website; JURIST news archive]O'Brien expressed concern and reiterated the call to respect the integrity and independence of the tribunal. In an official statement, her office noted:
The Legal Counsel strongly urged the Royal Government of Cambodia to refrain from statements opposing the progress of Cases 003 and 004 and to refrain from interfering in any way whatsoever with the judicial process. She emphasized the obligation of the Royal Government of Cambodia to cooperate fully with the ECCC.
The pressure for UN action results from the resignation of Siegfried Blunk [JURIST report], one of the judges for the ECCC, who blamed political interference for his decision.
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