A Change of Guard

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Thursday, 13 October 2011

The entire OCIJ must be investigated

The entire OCIJ must be investigated

Youk Chhang

Documentation Center of Cambodia

As an institution which promotes justice and memory for victims of the Khmer Rouge, the Documentation Center of Cambodia (DC-Cam) has a strong interest in ensuring the legitimacy and success of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC). While DC-Cam is not affiliated with the ECCC in any formal way, the Center was integral to the creation of the Court and has provided it with over 500,000 pages of documents along with various films, maps, photographs and interviews as a recognized “in-kind” donor. DC-Cam also continues to assist the ECCC through the provision of its research and expertise.

For months, various commentators and civil society institutions have alleged corruption and political interference at the ECCC. These allegations have been focused on the ECCC Office of the Co-Investigating Judges (OCIJ). Recently, International Co-Investigating Judge Siegfried Blunk resigned, citing the appearance of political interference by the Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC) as his motivation. Judge Blunk’s resignation has only added fuel to conspiracy theories and conjecture regarding corruption within the OCIJ. The time for speculation and debate however, has now long passed and there is a pressing need for the United Nations (UN) to act decisively.

The legitimacy of the entire ECCC has already been compromised by widespread perceptions of corruption within the OCIJ. Simply replacing Judge Blunk will do nothing to restore confidence in the ECCC. The only way to salvage the reputation of the Court and demonstrate that the international community is serious about combating corruption, impunity and injustice is through an immediate, impartial, transparent and thorough investigation of the entire OCIJ, followed by appropriate remedial action.

If no investigation takes place, every entity connected to the ECCC, including the UN itself, will be complicit with the RGC in compromising the last opportunity to provide some measure of justice for victims of the Khmer Rouge, whose suffering has already been either ignored or politically manipulated for over 30 years.


Independently Searching for the Truth since 1997.

“...a society cannot know itself if it does not have an accurate memory of its own history.”

Youk Chhang, Director
Documentation Center of Cambodia (DC-Cam)
66 Sihanouk Blvd.,
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
t: +855 23 21 18 75
f: +855 23 21 03 58
h: +855 12 90 55 95
e: dccam@online.com.kh


Transform the River of Blood into a River of Reconciliation.
A River of Responsibility. Break the Silence.

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