Thursday, May 17, 2012

Japanese Judge Resigns from Cambodia Tribunal

Motoo Noguchi from Japan, an international judge of the Supreme Court Chamber of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), submitted his resignation to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon.  The resignation will take effect on July 15.

Under an agreement signed by the UN and the Cambodian Government, the ECCC was set up as an independent court using a mixture of Cambodian staff and judges and foreign personnel. It is designated to try those deemed most responsible for mass killings and other crimes committed under the Khmer Rouge regime three decades ago.

Mr. Noguchi, who has been serving the ECCC since its inception in 2006, expressed his intention to return to service with the Ministry of Justice of Japan, and addressed the Cambodian people.

“It was my greatest honour and privilege to play a role in the ECCC’s historic endeavours to bring justice to the people of Cambodia,” Mr. Noguchi said. “I trust that they will continue to strive to overcome the tragic past which once put the country in ruins, as was the case with the Japanese people half a century ago.”  

“I hope that the Cambodian people will keep telling their stories beyond generations, enhance dialogue in their society, and reflect these on the education for pupils and students. I wish all the best and prosperity for the country and people of Cambodia,” he added.

In addition to Mr. Noguchi, the ECCC has in recent months witnessed the resignations of the international co-investigating judge, Siegfried Blunk, and the reserve international co-investigating judge, Laurent Kasper-Ansermet.

Judge Blunk cited attempted interference by Government officials in the court’s proceedings, while Judge Kasper-Ansermet stated that he was being prevented from properly and freely carrying out his duties at the tribunal. In March, Mr. Ban stressed that the Government must provide full cooperation so that they could carry out their duties.

(mew) (adapted from a UN Press Release)

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