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Cambodia: Ban designates new adviser for Khmer Rouge trials

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Cambodia: Ban designates new adviser for Khmer Rouge trials

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has designated David Scheffer of the United States as the Special Expert to advise on the United Nations Assistance to the Khmer Rouge Trials (UNAKRT), it was announced today.

“Mr. Scheffer is very well qualified to provide expert advice on UNAKRT during this critical phase for the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts Cambodia (ECCC),” stated the announcement.

The ECCC, set up under an agreement signed in 2003 by the UN and the Government, is tasked with trying those deemed most responsible for crimes committed under the Khmer Rouge between 1975 and 1979 during which as many as two million people are thought to have died.

Mr. Scheffer, whose designation is for an initial period of six months, replaces Clint Williamson, whose term of office expired on 30 September 2011.

The new Special Expert was involved in the establishment of the ECCC, the International Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), the International Criminal Court (ICC), and the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL). He served as the US Ambassador at Large for War Crimes Issues from 1997 to 2001.

It was also announced today that Mr. Ban has appointed John Hocking of Australia as the Registrar of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals.

Mr. Hocking has been serving as the Registrar of the ICTY, which is based in The Hague, since May 2009.

He will continue in that position while working as the Registrar of the Residual Mechanism, which was established by Security Council to carry out a number of essential functions of the ICTY and the ICTR after the closure of the Tribunals.

The Residual Mechanism will have two branches, in Arusha – where the ICTR is based – and in The Hague, which will commence functioning on 1 July 2012 and 1 July 2013, respectively.

“As its first Registrar, Mr. Hocking will be responsible for the effective commencement of the functions of the Residual Mechanism,” stated the announcement.