Disarray at the ECCC
I think it’s safe to say that the ECCC is in serious trouble, despite having an excellent International Co-Prosecutor in Andrew Cayley and many intelligent, dedicated staff. As readers probably know, the international reserve co-investigating judge, Laurent Kasper-Ansermet, is resigning his position because interference by the Cambodian government is making it impossible for the Tribunal to investigate new cases. Kasper-Ansermet has now released a legal document that he has styled a “Note of the International Reserve Co-Investigating Judge to the Parties on the Egregious Dysfunction Within the ECCC Impeding the Proper Conduct of Investigations in Cases 003 and 004.” The Note essentially catalogs everything that is presently wrong with the Tribunal. I can’t cut-and-paste from the document — which is really annoying, and all too common with documents released by international tribunals — but here is a list of its major headings:
1. Judge You Bunleng’s refusal to acknowledge or support Judge Kasper-Ansermet’s standing as International Co-Investigating Judge. (Bunleng is the National Co-Investigating Judge.)
2. Disagreement before the Pre-Trial Chamber pursuant to Internal Rule 72. (Rule 72 governs disagreements between the investigating judges concerning investigations.)
3. Irregularities in the disqualification process of Judge Prak Kimsan. (Prak Kimsan is the President of the Pre-Trial Chamber.)
4. Refusal to place any document by the International Co-Investigating Judge on case-file.
5. Refusal for civil party to access case-file after an Order granting admissibility.
6. Withdrawal of the OCIJ seal.
7. Obstruction to the internal investigation.
8. Unavailability of drivers and transcribers for investigative missions.
9. Non-cooperation from the Witness/Experts Support Unit.
10. Improper procedures before the Rules and Procedure Committee.
I have no idea what the legal basis might be for Kasper-Ansermet’s “Note.” But it’s an important document nonetheless, one that provides a unique — and uniquely disturbing — glimpse into the inner workings of the ECCC. Read it only if you have a very strong stomach.
Hat-Tip: Polina Levina.