Cambodia To Reject Appointment Of UN Genocide Judge

Cambodia To Reject Appointment Of UN Genocide Judge

By SONJA DECHIAN | Published: JANUARY 16, 2012

Cambodian officials are expected to reject a United Nations judge nominated to serve in the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, created to try the crimes of the Khmer Rouge. Judge Laurent Kasper-Ansermet of Switzerland took on the role after a German judge quitunexpectedly in October last year, citing political opposition to further prosecutions. Since then, Kasper-Ansermet has argued publicly with his Cambodian counterpart, claiming he has been prevented from revealing key information about cases opposed by the government.

Writing for the Investigative Fund blog, Douglas Gillison reports that officials are ready to reject the UN appointment, ‘though details remained scant and a decision has yet to be officially announced, the development would constitute a new and grave challenge to the UN in its fraught co-management with Cambodian authorities of the tribunal.’

A press statement about the appointment was released and then retracted last week. It read in part; ‘Response from the Prime Minister to the Secretary-General suggesting prudent consideration in the light of ‘certain activities by Mr Laurent Kasper-Ansermet that have been brought to public attention.’

Gillison suggests this may refer to Kasper-Ansermet’s twitter feed, where he has posted links to outside organisations writing on the trial. Recent tweets have appeared censored with ‘x’s, for example, ‘Khmers rouges: xx xxxxxxxx xxxxxx xx xxxxxxxxxx x xx xxxx xxxxxxxx.’

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