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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        14  May 2011

Khmer Rouge tribunal is in chaos

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The Khmer Rouge tribunal’s investigating judges are considering initiating contempt-of-court proceedings against British co-prosecutor Andrew Cayley, a move observers said would deal a potentially critical blow to the reputation of a court already hobbled by allegations of political interference.

A source at the court said yesterday that co-investigating judges Siegfried Blunk and You Bunleng were “seriously” considering the move in relation to Cayley’s disclosure earlier this week of details of their investigation in the court’s third case.

The judges announced the conclusion of this investigation last month, though they provided no details about the case to the public, including the crime sites being investigated and the identities of the suspects, over the course of their work.

On Monday, Cayley therefore took the unique step of issuing his own statement detailing crime sites in the investigation and inviting victims to join the case as civil parties, as the judges had not done.

As he is permitted to do under court rules, Cayley also said he would request that the judges perform a series of additional – and seemingly basic – investigative steps in the case that had not been undertaken. These steps included the examination of potential crime scenes and the interviewing of the suspects, who were not even questioned by the judges over the 20 months that the investigation was open.

The identities of these suspects remain officially confidential, though court documents reveal them as former KR navy commander Meas Muth and air force commander Sou Met.

Yesterday, it emerged that rather than focusing their energies on these two former cadres, the judges were instead contemplating the initiation of contempt-of-court proceedings against Cayley himself.

“These proceedings are being seriously considered by the co-investigating judges,” a source at the court said yesterday, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

Under the rules of the tribunal, the judges may handle such proceedings internally or refer the matter to domestic authorities or the United Nations. The potential penalty facing Cayley was thus unclear yesterday, though any punishment handed down against him would almost certainly result in his departure from the court.

United Nations court spokesman Lars Olsen said yesterday that he had no information on the matter.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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