‘Long-overdue’ justice necessary in Cambodia, says Secretary-General Ban

15 April 2008

Noting that today is the tenth anniversary of the death of the notorious Cambodian dictator Pol Pot, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called on the United Nations-backed tribunal to “soon deliver long-overdue justice for the people” of the South-East Asian country.

“I would like to remind the international community of the urgent importance of bringing to closure one of history’s darkest chapters,” Mr. Ban said in a statement.

“The United Nations and the Royal Government of Cambodia remain actively engaged in efforts to hold the Khmer Rouge senior leaders and those most responsible accountable for their horrific crimes.”

The Secretary-General said it was his hope that the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) – which has been operational since July 2006 – could soon deliver justice.

Under an agreement signed by the UN and Cambodia, the ECCC was set up as an independent court using a mixture of Cambodian judges and staff and foreign personnel. It is designated to try those deemed most responsible for crimes and serious violations of Cambodian and international law between April 1975 and January 1979.

Estimates vary but as many as three million people died during the rule of the Khmer Rouge, which was then followed by a protracted period of civil war in the impoverished country.


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News Tracker: Past Stories on This Issue

Call for judges at UN-backed tribunal to investigate more Khmer Rouge crimes

Co-prosecutors at the United Nations-backed tribunal trying Khmer Rouge leaders accused of mass killings and other crimes in Cambodia in the late 1970s have called for new investigations of possible crimes committed at a security and detention centre in the South-East Asian country during the notorious era.