A Change of Guard

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Monday, 10 October 2011

Press Release: Why Judge Siegfried Blunk resigned?

10 October 2011


After his appointment on 1 December 2010, the International Co-Investigating Judge of the ECCC proceeded with investigations in Cases 003 and 004 in the expectation that a previous statement reportedly made by the Cambodian Prime Minister during a meeting with the Secretary-General that these cases “will not be allowed” did not reflect general government policy.

However, on 10 May 2011, the Cambodian Minister of Information stated “If they want to go into Case 003 and 004, they should just pack their bags and leave.“ Although the International Co-Investigating Judge initiated Contempt of Court proceedings against him and expected this to be a warning to other government officials, last week the Cambodian Foreign Minister reportedly stated ”On the issue of the arrest of more Khmer Rouge leaders, this is a Cambodian issue… This issue must be decided by Cambodia” (Cambodia Daily 5 Oct 2011).

Although the International Co-Investigating Judge will not let himself be influenced by such statements, his ability to withstand such pressure by Government officials and to perform his duties independently could always be called in doubt, and this would also call in doubt the integrity of the whole proceedings in Cases 003 and 004.

Because of these repeated statements, which will be perceived as attempted interference by Government officials with Cases 003 and 004, the International Co-Investigating Judge has submitted his resignation to the Secretary-General as of 9 October 2011.

Media contact:

Lars Olsen
Legal Communications Officer, Public Affairs Section
Mobile: +855(0)-12 488 023
Land line: +855 23 219 841 ext. 6169
Email: olsenl@un.org

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