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Duch Final Pronouncement

Friday, 3 February 2012

Final Pronouncement of Supreme Court Chamber of ECCC

(Theary C. Seng's interview with a prominent international news company)


I just returned from the ECCC to attend the final appeal pronouncement of the Duch sentencing (I purposely avoided the word "verdict" because the whole of Case 001 has been on sentencing and not on whether Duch is guilty or not, as he confessed time and again).

The ECCC's final pronouncement on Duch was extremely disturbing! I agree with the life sentence as that accords with the gravity of his crimes. That is not the issue.

But what I find extremely disturbing are several things:

One, the majority of the judges (4 Cambodian + one Japanese) overturned the Trial Chamber's acknowledgement of Duch's confession and cooperation as well as his illegal pre-trial detention by the Cambodian Military Court. That is to say, this final verdict failed to account for his genuine confession, his consistent cooperation, and his illegal detention by the Military Court in 1999 until his pre-trial detention by the ECCC in 2007.

The legal implication carries dangerous consequences for the Cambodian national court system in the embedding of persistent violation of fair trial rights and due process, especially on the violation of pre-trial detention rights which is an abhorrent and pervasive problem in the national court system that we want change in our society.

Two, the sentencing appeases the emotional sentiments of victims in handing out the most extreme sentence ("extreme" not in being giving "life" which is appropriate but with no acknowledgment of important mitigating factors, e.g., confession, cooperation, illegal detention), which aligns with political will of this current Cambodian government, that is to make Duch, a small fish (not a senior KR leader) who would be the star witness in Case 002, the sole scapegoat of this KR regime. In light of extremely delayed, extremely fragmented condition of Case 002, involving the 3 senior KR leaders, which is the heart of the KR crimes and justice, Duch will effectively be the sole scapegoat of all KR crimes and atrocities.

I am extremely disturbed because today's final closure on one case involves a man who was not a senior KR leader; Duch was the director one prison, among 200 KR prisons. Where I was detained as a child of 7 years old, DC-Cam estimated 30,000 were believed to have been killed there, including my mom. But this and similar other prisons will never get a hearing!

Also the fact that this minor case of Duch (in comparison to case 002 involving 4 then 3 senior KR leaders and in light of the 5 charged persons in cases 003/4) took 6 years, almost all the resources and attention is extremely disturbing in its furthering of this current regime's propaganda to re-write history according to its resources and brute power, that is, to be known as the regime which put the KR on trial and in the process whitewash its own KR history and crimes.

Very, very disappointing and extremely upsetting by the political outcome.

May I add that the majority of judges' decision to leave the illegal detention to the national court system is quite baffling and abdication of responsibility, as what's then the point of having the ECCC??? After $200,000,000??? After years of negotiation with UN??

We already know about the problems laden with the national system!!!

-  Theary C. Seng, 3 Feb. 2012


. . . . .


The Khmer Rouge Tribunal in the Dock

In Search of Truth and Justice



Phnom Penh, 1 February 2012

“Truth is a pre-condition of justice.  Justice is necessary for shalom (which is peace that is more than the absence of conflict but entails the presence of justice.  The KRT is full of deceit.  Deceit can never turn into justice, no matter how sophisticated the spinning; but to the contrary, it can turn even more dangerous when with UN insignia.”

Case File:

Victims v KRT

Mini-trial 1: Victims v RGC

Mini-trial 2: Victims v UN


In KI-Media


. . . . .


Time is Ripe for UN to Disengage

from the Khmer Rouge Tribunal

Theary C. Seng

Letter to the Editor, The Phnom Penh Post, 27 Jan. 2012

The Phnom Penh Post, Friday, 27 Jan. 2012


. . .


Radio Free Asia

Re-post in KI-Media

Theary Seng extensive in-studio interview with lauk Chivita (Phnom Penh, 26 Jan. 2012).

The 3 Main Questions:

1. My thoughts on yesterday's press conference of UN envoy David Scheffer in defending Reserve International Co-Investigating Judge Laurent Kasper-Ansermet.

TS: A very strong start toward the path of withdrawal.  It will be very difficult for this government to pull a fast one on David Scheffer who is not only deeply experienced in international law, as the first US War Crimes Ambassador when international criminal justice was exploding onto the international scene in the 1990s, but also he was instrumental in the negotiation process for the establishment of the ECCC and has been deeply involved directly and engaging this government since.  Any other person, who is smart but new to the scene would not have had the historical knowledge needed to call the government's bluff


2.  My reading of the June 2003 Agreement establishing the ECCC (Khmer / English).

Article 5 (6), ECCC Agreement, June 2003

TS: The Agreement is unequivocally clear, leaving no room for questions, on this matter.  Let me read to you Article 5(6):  "In case there is a vacancy or a need to fill the post of the international co-investigating judge, the person appointed to fill this post must be the reserve international c0-investigating judge."

Now, we must ask Who is the "reserve international co-investigating judge" during this period of a "vacancy"? It is Laurent Kasper-Ansermet.  The Cambodian government recognizes him as such; this is not a point of contention.

Laurent Kasper-Ansermet = "reserve international co-investigating judge"

So, let us read this Art. 5(6) again, but now inserting "Laurent Kasper-Ansermet" in the place of "reserve international co-investigating judge": "In case there is a vacancy or a need to fill the post of the international co-investigating judge, the person appointed to fill this post must be Laurent Kasper-Ansermet."

The language of Art. 5(5) referring to the Supreme Council of Magistracy is a moot point in light of Art. 5(6) and in light of former reserve co-investigating judge Siegfriend Blunk's appointment process, which did not need a re-appointment of him from being a "reserve international co-investigating judge" to that of "international co-investigating judge".

In order to make sense of all the articles and the spirit of the Agreement, David Scheffer is correct in harmonizing the SCM's role as  only a "sign of cooperation".


RFA: The government argues that Article 3(6) states clearly that the Supreme Council of Magistracy has the duty to appoint.  "In the event of a vacancy of an international judge, the SCM shall appoint another international judge from the same list." Do you not see a conflict?

Article 3(6), ECCC Agreement, June 2003

TS: No, the  point 6 you just read from Article 3 is about "Judges" in the Trial and Supreme Court Chambers, whereas Article 5 is narrowly about the "Investigating Judges".  See also my earlier point relating to Art. 5(5), that of SCM's role as only a "sign of cooperation".

Moreover, when in interpreting law, we must take into account the "letter (wording) of the law" and the "spirit of the law" as they relate to the other articles and intention of the Agreement.  Here, both the letter and the spirit of the Agreement clearly favor the interpretation put forth by the UN.

3.  My Press Release urging the UN to Withdraw, especially why is the time and political climate ripe?

TS: (see below)



. . .


Time is Prime for UN to Withdraw from KRT

By Theary C. Seng

Commentary, 23 Jan. 2012

Re-post in KI-Media

In March 2007, I had written a column stating that the United Nations has no “tipping point” for withdrawal from the Khmer Rouge tribunal or that “it has such an extremely high threshold that it is practically nonexistent” (“No Tipping Point: Provision for UN Withdrawal only Theoretical”, The Phnom Penh Post, Issue 16/05*), mainly because “the UN will never be afforded that ‘magic moment’ of having all the varying interests of the ‘United Nations’ reach a critical mass, when all the ideas and sentiments of the varying and disparate actors fused to cross the threshold at the same time, tip and lead to UN withdrawal.”

I had argued that the UN will not invoke its right to withdraw enshrined in Article 28 (see below**) for these reasons: (i) the Cambodian government has a monolithic, consolidated voice, whereas the “United Nations” comprises a myriad of voices, actors and interests, contradicting and multi-dimensional; (ii) UN judges, prosecutors, officials are not political strategists; (iii) the government has become more confident and sophisticated; and (iv) the KRT is foremost a court of public opinion and the UN has lost time and again the public relations game vis-à-vis the government, and especially after having invested so much time, energy and money into this KRT process.

I continue to hold the above to be true but the force of these arguments has been greatly weakened by the passage of six years of KRT operation, by the accumulation of searing experiences of this government blatantly, consistently “not conform[ing] with the terms of the present Agreement”, by the growing shared discontent of public voices drawing global attention, by Cambodia’s political interests of 2012, by the poignant illustration of Cases 003/004, and by the personalities of Judge Laurent Kasper-Ansermet and UN envoy David Scheffer.

The time is ripe for the UN to invoke Article 28 and withdraw for the following reasons:

First, it is the right thing to do, backed by six years of hard evidence of “political interference” and “breach” of Agreement, and everyone knows it.  That is to say, the UN has political, legal and public cover.

Second, the political climate works in favor of UN withdrawal.  The Cambodian government is extra-sensitive about its international image, especially this 2012. One, Cambodia is the chair of ASEAN.  With Burma reforming, Cambodia can no longer hide behind its neighbor as the region’s whipping boy for human rights abuses and violator of international norms, even as it domestically continues to use the Khmer Rouge era as its measuring stick 35 years later.  Two, Cambodia is seeking the non-permanent seat of the UN Security Council.  Three, it’s election year and the government is already under fire for having no opposition figure.

Third, there’s a unified, indignant, strong public stance against the government regarding Cases 003 and 004.

Fourth and related, the UN has a few very strong, influential personalities in key positions to act as the catalyst for honorable withdrawal.  Judge Kasper-Ansermet is strong and has shown his courage to pursue doggedly these cases under difficult circumstances.  The new UN envoy David Scheffer is a principled veteran negotiator who knows this government and key officials assigned to the KRT, meaning that he will be less susceptible to fall for the political ruse of this government which is crafty in pushing its limits and conceding just enough to appease the international community before it pushes its limits again.  With these two individuals leading the pack, I believe the likes of Judge Silvia Cartwright, Judge Rowan Downing, Judge Jean-Marc Lavergne, Co-Prosecutor Andrew Cayley can be persuaded to a convergence on withdrawal as a strategy.  I believe their convergence will force the hands of UN headquarters to the tipping point of withdrawal.

Practically, the withdrawal strategy would look something like this: The UN sets 3 basic conditions which are easily verifiable and communicates them publicly.  Let say, one of the conditions is the immediate appointment of Judge Kasper-Ansermet and the legitimate investigations into Cases 003 and 004 starting immediately upon the judge’s appointment.  (The other two conditions could be related to political interference and the integrity of Case 002.)  Upon the breach of any one of the 3 conditions (which is highly likely to happen), the UN unequivocally withdraws from the KRT in a very public manner with no “ands”, “ifs”, or “buts”.

In doing so, the UN would set an honorable precedent and in the process reform its global image as an institution with a backbone of courage, principles and integrity.  Closer to home, UN withdrawal would salvage the loss of confidence and trust among Cambodians, a priceless commodity among a people who have lost so much faith in anyone and anything for so long.

All to say, the UN has a unique window of opportunity right now to render a measure of justice to the victims and to salvage its integrity—by withdrawing!  To stay and prolong the political farce is to embed all the dark mentalities (of impunity, of cynicism, of low expectations, of fear, of inferiority) we want to change in this society; to withdraw is to be unprecedented in showing its leadership for victims and the world and to salvage any measure of justice that yet can be had from this political theatre.

In March 2007, I prayed to be wrong regarding UN withdrawal.  Now, I have a greater chance—and only chance—of being wrong.  More than ever, let me be wrong.



** Article 28, ECCC Agreement between UN and Cambodia (June 2003):  “Should the Royal Government of Cambodia change the structure or organization of the Extraordinary Chambers or otherwise cause them to function in a manner that does not conform with the terms of the present Agreement, the United Nations reserves the right to cease to provide assistance, financial or otherwise, pursuant to the present Agreement.”

Theary C. Seng
Founding President

Association of Khmer Rouge Victims in Cambodia



. . .


Case for UN Withdrawal



Article 28, Agreement between UN and Cambodia

Should the Royal Government of Cambodia change the structure or organization of the Extraordinary Chambers or otherwise cause them to function in a manner that does not conform with the terms of the present Agreement, the United Nations reserves the right to cease to provide assistance, financial or otherwise, pursuant to the present Agreement.


Legal Basis for Withdrawal

- "Political interference" - Judge Siegfried Blunk

- "Breach of Agreement" - UN spokesman Martin Nesirky


Benefits of Withdrawal

- UN standing globally in its unprecedented principled stance

- UN integrity and principles in tact

- Keeping the faith and confidence of Cambodian victims

- Powerful strike against impunity

- Strong message to Cambodian government


Costs of Continuing the Political Farce

- US$200,000,000 wasted with millions more to be wasted

- Destroy all faith, all trust, all confidence of Cambodian victims

- Embed mentality of impunity

- Embed mentality of low expectations

- Embed mentality of fear

- Embed mentality of cynicism

- Negate justice





The Case against the ECCC

(KRT in the Dock)



. . . . .


In remembrance of Chea Vichea

My tribute in KI-Media, 22 Jan. 2012


. . . . .


Hosted by ANSA-EAP in Manila

1st Day Highlights (Open Doors 2012)

Film of Open Doors 2009 in Hong Kong

Cambodia Passes Procurement Law

Click on images for more information...


Theary Seng in Manila, Jan. 2012


. . . . .


Open Letter to Reporters and Commentators

"Civil Party" vs. "Witness"

By Theary C. Seng, Founding President

Association of Khmer Rouge Victims in Cambodia

Phnom Penh, 13 January 2012

I would like to draw your attention to the news articles and commentaries, especially of the past weeks' coverage of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, whereby reporters and commentators alike refer incorrectly to victims currently testifying in the Trial Chamber as "civil parties".

They are witnesses; they are not testifying in their capacity as "civil parties", a very important technical, legal distinction with consequences.

One of the consequences is the continuing exploitation and dis-empowerment of victims by this KRT, one of the main reasons for my withdrawal from this political farce.  Repeating mindlessly the vacuity being spun by this KRT for public consumption does not help the cause of the victims.



In KI-Media

In Association of Khmer Rouge Victims in Cambodia


. . .

Back Home in Cambodia With Food as Comfort

The New York Times / The International Herald Tribune

Seth Mydans,12 Jan. 2012

"Among others who have returned and stayed are Ou Virak and Theary Seng, prominent advocates of a U.S. brand of human rights and civil society, which at this point fits a little awkwardly with Cambodia’s strong-arm form of government."


. . .


My commentary on

"January 7 and the Khmer Rouge Tribunal"

Opinion Page of The Phnom Penh Post, 11 Jan. 2012.

Re-published in KI-Media.


[My unedited version of the above published commentary]

January 7 and the Khmer Rouge Tribunal

Theary C. Seng

Dear Editor of The Phnom Penh Post:

January 7 is indeed a significant day for survivors of the Khmer Rouge in arresting the macabre convulsions which would have swallowed all of us into the hellish hole if the Vietnamese military had not intervened.

It is a bittersweet day of liberation through invasion.

And now, unfortunately, it is a day propagandized to be ONLY the Day of Liberation, neatly sweeping away the equally important historical fact of it being simultaneously the Inaugurating Day of Occupation for the next decade, beginning with the barricading of Phnom Penh for easy plundering of its wealth by  caravans of trucks  convoying back to Vietnam, followed by the mass crimes of K-5 Plan.

My hairdresser remembers coming back from Battambang to his home in Boeung Keng Kang I on February 3, 1979, only to find that all of the wealthy neighborhoods of villas and jewelry stores were still barricaded off.

It was an occupation cut short only by the complete meltdown of the Cold War, here specifically the break-up of the Soviet Union which was funding the Vietnamese occupation of Cambodia.

The rewriting of history in this manner by the current regime is fraught with dangers for the longevity of Cambodian stability and peace. Cycles of past grievances which touch on national identity and humiliation run deep in any society, no less here. Think of Khmer Kampuchea Kroms and their current sufferings and struggles. Think of the underpinnings for the bloodletting of the former Yugoslavia.

It is not only in January 7 that this current regime is revising history to fit its deeply narrow political agenda. The political interference of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal speaks to the same dangers. This regime never wanted the KRT, but once it was inevitable and this regime was confident of its control over the mechanisms of the process, it did everything then to achieve and protect its twin goals: to go down in history as the “try-ers of the Khmer Rouge” and concurrently to erase its own Khmer Rouge history and crimes.

With United Nations' stamp of approval, this CPP regime is achieving exactly that.


No other counter-balancing, competing narratives are permitted or have the gross resources and official, institutional dissemination systems to match.

Thus, January 7 is paradoxical for Cambodians who are simultaneously situated as survivors of the Khmer Rouge, survivors of K-5 Plan under Vietnamese occupation, and continuing survivors of a regime which desperately needs to whitewash its history of the Khmer Rouge and with indebted political ties to Vietnam, a dangerous liaison in light of the two country’s historical enmity over territorial annexation.

Stated differently, January 7 is a paradoxical and conflicting day for us who are Cambodian victims of the Khmer Rouge, Cambodian victims of Vietnamese occupation, and Cambodian victims of the current regime with unhealthy political historical ties to both perpetrators, the Khmer Rouge and the Vietnamese military.

January 7 initially made us deliriously grateful, then wearily suspicious. That is the tension.

Theary C. Seng
Founding President
CIVICUS: Center for Cambodian Civic Education

. . . . .


Conversations and Dinner with AMONG WOMEN Delegation

Sunday, 8 Jan. 2012

Among Women delegation in Cambodia, Jan 2012
Theary Seng with coordinator of Among Women Delegation after a talk given by Theary and conversations over dinner at Pavilion (Phnom Penh, 8 Jan. 2012)


"The aim of the program is for a carefully selected group of influential women alumnae from these five colleges to engage with women from other countries to discuss issues of importance to women. This is the fourth program in the series which has proved to be extremely successful with a number of important relationships being forged between the participants and the women they met with. Prior programs have included Jordan where they met with Palestinian refugees as well as Queen Rania in order to try to understand the issues facing women in that country. More recently they were in Bangladesh meeting with recipients of micro-loans as well as Sheikh Hasina and opposition leader Khaleda Zia. It was interesting for them to interact with women in a country where the leader and her opposition were both women!"

- Janet Moore, President of Distant Horizons who coordinated the Among Women delegation to Cambodia

. . . . .

Lindsay Murdoch of Age and Sydney Morning Herald, 4 Jan. 2011
Interviews with Australian The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald and filming for an international broadcasting (Phnom Penh, 4 Jan. 2011) on the ECCC, my withdrawal, Poetic Justice...


Gambia's Bensouda is next international prosecutor

Reuters Africa, 13 Dec. 2011

Africa's Fatou Bensouda is new ICC Chief Prosecutor

BBC Africa, 12 Dec. 2011


. . .

Tribunal Judge’s Appointment Stalled With Government

VOA Khmer, 22 Dec. 2011

In KI-Media

UN (Swiss) Co-Investigating Judge Laurent Kasper Ansermet

Statement of the International Reserve Co-Investigating Judge
6 Dec. 2011

Press Statement of National Co-Investigating Judge (in response)
6 Dec. 2011

Genocide Judges Duel it Out in Phnom Penh
The Investigative Fund, 6 Dec. 2011

Terse beginning to new relationship among KR tribunal judges
Phnom Penh Post,7 Dec. 2011

Statement by International Co-Investigating Judge
9 Jan. 2012

Press Statement of National Co-Investigating Judge (in response)
9 Jan. 2012

Cambodia Khmer Rouge trial judges argue in public
BBC, 9 Jan. 2012
Republished in KI-Media

Cambodian Government Must Confirm New Judge Now
Press Release of Open Society Justice Initiative, 10 Jan. 2012

Under its agreement with the United Nations that established the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, the Royal Government of Cambodia has no discretion in relation to the appointment of Judge Kasper-Ansermet. The agreement  mandates that the person appointed to fill Judge Blunk’s position must be Judge Laurent Kasper-Ansermet (the “Reserve Co-Investigating Judge”).

More Discord Emerges in Office of Investigating Judges
VOA, 10 Jan. 2011
Republished in KI-Media

UN "Concerned" over Khmer Rouge Judge's Legal Limbo
AFP, 11 Jan. 2012
Re-posted in KI-Media

KRT Appointment Overdue: Monitor
The Phnom Penh Post, 11 Jan. 2012
Re-posted in KI-Media

Disorder in the Court:
KRT Judges Row over Cases 003, 004 Public

Phnom Penh Post, 10 Jan. 2012
Republished in KI-Media

Phnom Penh Post, 10 Jan. 2012


Press and Quick Reaction Unit

[I did not make this name up!]

12 Jan. 2012

A knee-jerk reactionary piece with juicy, sensitive information which had to be recalled publicly with another revised version of the Press  Release, and another. Too late, harm done.


KRT Judge Backflip

The Phnom Penh Post, 13 Jan. 2012.  Re-posted in KI-Media.

Under the rules governing the tribunal, Kasper-Ansermet “must” assume the position of international co-investigating judge. The rules do not assign decision-making power to the Supreme Council of Magistracy on this endorsement.


Failure to Confirm Stalls Tribunal

RFA, 12 Jan. 2012
Re-posted in KI-Media



Cambodia Rejects UN Genocide Judge

The Investigative Fund, 15 Jan. 2012


Uncertain Verdict

The Phnom Penh Post, 16 Jan. 2012

Re-posted in KI-Media

Cambodian law body reportedly blocking Swiss judge

ABC Radio Australia, 17 Jan. 2012

Re-posted in KI-Media

The Phnom Penh Post, 17 Jan. 2012


Does this Commie regime know how to read????


ECCC Agreement

(between UN and Cambodia)

June 2003

(Articles 5, 6)

5. In addition to the list of nominees provided for in Article 3, paragraph 5, the Secretary-General shall submit a list of two nominees from which the Supreme Council of the Magistracy shall appoint one to serve as an international co-investigating judge, and one as a reserve international co-investigating judge.

6. In case there is a vacancy or a need to fill the post of the international co-investigating judge,
the person appointed to fill this post must be the reserve international co-investigating judge [Laurent Kasper-Ansermet].


UN calls for Cambodia to fulfil war crimes court obligation

DPA, 18 Jan. 2012


UN Says Government Must Choose Investigating Tribunal Judge

VOA, 19 Jan. 2012


CHRAC expresses grave concern about the work of ECCC's co-investigating judges

Press Release, 19 Jan. 2012


KRT judge decision with ministers

The Phnom Penh Post, 20 Jan. 2012

Re-posted in KI-Media

If the Supreme Council of Magistracy is an independent body, why is the decision being sent to the Council of Ministers? - Human Rights Watch


Cambodia Refuses to Seat Swiss Judge at Khmer Rouge Tribunal

VOA, 20 Jan. 2012


UN protests after Cambodia blocks Khmer Rouge judge

AFP, 20 Jan. 2012

"Cambodia is in 'breach' of an accord with the UN setting up the international tribunal into the Khmer Rouges crimes of the1970s in which up to two million people died, UN spokesman Martin Nesirky told reporters.

'This is a matter of serious concern,' stated Nesirky who said the Cambodian government had formally notified UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Thursday of its refusal to name Laurent Kasper-Ansermet of Switzerland as co-investigating judge."


Statement Attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General on Cambodia

UN Press Release, New York, 20 Jan. 2012

UN calls on Cambodia to appoint international judge to genocide court

UN News Center, New York, 20 Jan. 2012


UN: Cambodia breaches war crimes agreement

DPA, 21 Jan. 2012

'Confidential' Decision Made Over Swiss Investigating Judge

VOA, 20 Jan. 2012


Cambodia: UN Assails Rejection of Khmer Rouge Tribunal Judge

Reuters, 21 Jan. 2012


Cambodia and the UN clash on the nomination

of the International Co-Investigating Judge

RFI, 22 Jan. 2012


Harihara (Sacrava, 22 Jan. 2012)

Phnom Penh Post, 23 Jan. 2012

Re-post in KI-Media


Cambodia Refuses to Seat Swiss Judge at Khmer Rouge Tribunal

VOA, 23 Jan. 2012


Cambodia rebuffs UN on new judge for Khmer Rouge trial

Reuters, 23 Jan. 2012

David Scheffer

Trial Expert Set For Cambodia Talks

RFA, 23 Jan. 2012


Phnom Penh Post, 26 Jan. 2012


UN and Cambodia Glare At Each Other

Over Tribunal Judge Issue, 27 Jan. 2012



. . .

Scant Justice

Expected from Khmer Rouge Trials

The Epoch Times, 22 Dec. 2011

By Kremena Krumova

Re-post in KI-Media

We the victims only agreed to participate in this KRT [Khmer Rouge Trial] at the beginning as civil parties because the U.N. participated. We never, never trusted our government or our judiciary; but we had hopes that the U.N. would counterbalance any shenanigans of this government. But as you and I have witnessed, the U.N. failed us miserably in their silence,” wrote Theary Seng, president of the Association of Khmer Rouge Victims in Cambodia, in an email from Phnom Penh.

“For over five years, I believed in this tribunal. Now I attend the hearings the way I would attend a play or a circus performance,” wrote Seng.

Seng, who lost her parents in the mass slaughters known as the killing fields, said that the ECCC has now tipped to the point of illegitimacy and blames the U.N. for turning the tribunal into a “farce and sham” and becoming an accomplice of the regime.

. . .


VOA including my interview at ECCC on 13 Dec. 2011


13 December 2011


Full statement

. . .


Theary Seng's Comment (13 Dec. 2011):

* Earlier today at the ECCC in my film interviews for AP and Reuters, I stated that it would be incomprehensible to me and other victims should Ieng Thirith be released, as it is only another reminder and reflection of the undue delays and the scraps and crumbs of justice that this ECCC (which has the appearance of a court) can offer to us.

I added that this political theatre [whose performance is about "Court and Justice and High Crimes and Misnomers"] can be analogized to a fast-food drive-through - 5 years for the simple Duch case, and then expedite the most "complex" (sic!) case since Nuremberg in a few weeks' time.

Now, this ECCC is at the drive-through window, and the order [or orchestration] is for a "Big Mac" (as it is the only item on the menu), a "Big Mac... but minus the meat, minus the lettuce, minus the tomatoes, minus the pickles...". This ECCC can only provide "yuthethor aid-chai" or junk justice, in this example a Menu that is stripped of everything but a Big Mac, and of the Big Mac, one that is stripped of everything except the buns and mayonnaise.

** What I did not have time to add is that we the victims don't want to have a mentally unfit person on trial either; a win (verdict) is only satisfying when it's a proper win; a verdict is only legitimate when fair trial rights are respected. Again, this decision in the press release has the ingredients of a political farce to appease sentiments rather than the administration of fair trial rights of a court of law.

*** It should be noted that on Sunday, 20 Nov. 2011, the day before the opening trial, the victims at Choeung Ek publicly threatened to withdraw should Ieng Thirith be released. In light of the fear of a massive mutiny by the victims as civil parties (who exist in name only but given zero substantial role, as the victims you see in court are not "civil parties" but "witnesses", which have always existed in judicial process nationally and internationally, and here witnesses ridiculously have more rights and direct voice than the "unprecedented" civil "party"!)


But fitting with the Season of Giving, the political farce keeps on giving and giving and giving... junk justice.


**** Who is still talking about "legacy" (the passing on of proper legal practices to the national Cambodian court--cough! cough!), the buzz word of months past??


***** It should also be noted that I attend (when am inclined to make the drive to the military compound via idiotic traffic) these hearings now the way I would attend theatre performances (when charitable) or circus acts (when less charitable)...

. . .

14 Dec. 2011

Or the "international standards" of the ECCC can be likened to wine.


The UN and this Commie regime purport to give Cambodians the Chateau Margaux of international standards but in reality we victims get the hideous Randonal (which tastes like a chemical mixture purporting to pass for wine from France).

We argue, but this is not wine [international standards]!

They reply, for you Cambodians, it is, especially if we have enough Silvia Cartwrights and Andrew Cayleys and US-backed Youk Chhangs and Japanese ¥ Yens saying so.

We would have been satisfied with table wine, but Randonal...????

Cambodians -- where is your dignity?

. . . . .



"Another UN Failure"


Commentary Magazine

Bethany Mandel, 7 Dec. 2011

In KI-Media

...Less predictably, the UN-appointed Western judges have been the ones to have their impartiality and effectiveness questioned by observers and even co-workers.

...The court was constructed in such a way that there would be safeguards against Cambodian judges’ improper behavior, but none for Western judges’ abuse of power. In Foreign Policy, Gillison writes in depth about the shocking details that finally, after months, brought the resignation of the German judge. Since 2009, when the UN appointed an Australian academic and a self-proclaimed Marxist to be a liaison for Cambodian victims of the Marxist Khmer Rouge, the United States has contributed more than $10 million to the court. Despite reports from New York and Phnom Penh about the court’s dysfunction and wasteful spending, the UN, United States and other leading Western governments continue to silently watch the court daily crumble into total anarchy, all the while pouring millions of dollars into its operations...


Junk Justice

. . .



Theary Seng dart games, 21 Nov. 2011
Photo: Heng Sinith, 21 Nov. 2011

More photos...

If Commie regime censors KI-Media...

More images by Jenny Holligan...

Click here if the Commie regime censors KI-Media...

More photos at KI-Media...

Here, if the commie regime censors KI-Media...

Another set of photos here also...

. . .

Looking for Entrepreneurs to Develop Poetic Justice Products for Association of Khmer Rouge Victims in Cambodia.


Poetic Justice booklet cover


Dart Game Set includes:

* 54-page educational booklet (click here for complete booklet)

* 5 colorful darts

* dartboard with image of war criminal Pol Pot already mounted

* 5 additional war criminal images

** Each Dart Game set sells for US$7.00.

Please contact Ms. Sivnin at 017.993.118.

. . .

Theary Seng with Dutch newspaper de Volkskrant, 26 Nov. 2011
Theary Seng being interviewed by Mr. Cor Speksnijder of de Volkskrant, Dutch newspaper (Phnom Penh, 26 Nov. 2011)

de Volkskrant: You feel personally offended, don't you?

Theary: How can I not?! The honor of my father and mother is at stake. My dignity is at stake. I can speak as a lawyer on a professional level, but this is a deeply personal issue for me. I am both within and without... I am highly offended when the UN is effectively telling me, telling the other victims that all we, the poor Cambodians, deserve are the crumbs of justice... The UN is embedding all the dark mentalities we want to change in this society - the mentality of low expectations, the mentality of fear, the mentality of inferiority, the mentality of impunity, the mentality of cynicism... And yes, I agree with the opening statement of Nuon Chea's lawyer--the indictment of this ECCC--minus all the references to Nuon Chea, the one that was never made but sent out as a press release... I believe that guilt is not zero-sum; that is to say, Kissinger is guilty and his guilt does not absolve the guilt of Nuon Chea; he's still directly, personally responsible...

. . .



Join me tonight (Friday, Nov. 25 from 7:30-8:30 P.M.) on Radio Free Asia LIVE call-in show where I am an in-studio guest wit h ECCC spokesman Neth Pheaktra, joined by telephone with another Civil Party who withdrew Chey Theara from Kampong Chhnang.

RFA call-in with Theary Seng, Neth Pheaktra, Leng Maly, Chey Theara, 25 Nov. 2011
Seng Theary, ECCC spokesman Neth Pheaktra, RFA Leng Maly


RFA: Why did you decide to withdraw from the ECCC?

Theary: This ECCC can only provide crumbs and scraps of justice, "yuthethor aid-chai" for me; my parents and other loved ones who passed away deserve more than crumbs and scraps from this ECCC that has the appearance of a court but is really a political farce that is mocking us the living and our loved ones those who died.

"Yuthethor Aidchay" - Scrap Justice

JUNK JUSTICE (scraps, crumbs, throw-aways) for the Poor Cambodians - "International Standards with a Wink" for the Poor Cambodians.

Through its actions, this is what the UN is effectively saying to Theary, Cambodian survivors, 1.7 M dead: "Ms. Seng, don't act so high and mighty; know your place as the Cambodian woman like every Cambodian woman we think you are - insignificant, faceless, cheap - BE THANKFUL FOR THE SCRAPS OF JUSTICE this ECCC is offering you and your people, at least it's something."


Ms. Seng to UN: "!@#$%^&*()_+&%$#@!&^%*%$!!"


. . .


Brilliant, courageous Opening Statement by Nuon Chea's lawyer, Michiel Pestman -- never made in the Chamber as he was effectively gagged from indicting ECCC the Clown for the gross miscarriage of justice for the people of Cambodia.

23 Nov. 2011

"The English have an expression: the elephant in the room. The issue which overshadows all others, but which no one dares to mention. I am here to speak about the elephant, or rather elephants, in this Court room.

This Case, this Court, suffers from at least four major flaws – flaws most people involved know exist ‐ but prefer to ignore..."

. . . . .


Poetic Justice

and Civil Party Withdrawal

in the News

Nov. 2011

Ex-leader: Khmer Rouge atrocities are 'fairy tale'

AP Newswire, 23 Nov. 2011

"I'm not surprised that Nuon Chea, Khieu Samphan and Ieng Sary continue to deny their crimes as the charges against them of genocide, war crimes are very serious," said Theary S[e]ng, a Cambodian lawyer and human rights activist who lost family members under their regime.

"Even if I am not surprised, I am however disgusted by their lack of remorse for the suffering they caused. They are delusional in their denial in light of the weight of evidence against them - the mounds of skulls and bones, the horrific testimonies from every survivor of cruelty, the magnitude and scope of evil unleashed by them across the whole of Cambodia."


. . .


"Khmer Rouge trial is failing Cambodian

victims of Pol Pot's regime"

Human Rights Watch Brad Adams' editorial

The Guardian, 26 Nov. 2011

"While there is now wide agreement in UN circles that the ECCC is a mistake that should never be repeated elsewhere, a fair trial of Nuon Chea, Khieu Samphan and Ieng Sary would allow the court to keep some of its promises to victims"

[Still scraps and crumbs "yuthethor aid-chai", Brad!]

. . .

"Justice Denied"

Douglas Gillison, Foreign Policy Magazine, 23 Nov. 2011

. . .

Deputy President of Victims Association, a Civil Party of the Orphans Class, Mr. CHEY Theara, Withdraws Civil Party Status, Denounces ECCC as Political Farce





Full statement in both Khmer and English in KI-Media.

Here, if ISP censors in Cambodia.

. . . . .

Phnom Penh Post, Poetice Justice War Criminals on the riverfront, 21 Nov. 2011

[H.E. Son Soubert giving his best shot at Henry Kissinger]
Caption: A crowd gathered along the riverside yesterday, the opening day of KR tribunal Case 002, to throw darts at 'war-criminal'-themed dartboards, created by Khmer Rouge victims' advocate Theary Seng. The dartboards feature all those being charged in Case 002, among others.


. . . . .


Khmer Rouge Trial Missing a Marquee Defendant

Wall Street Journal, 21 Nov. 2011

“The release of Ieng Thirith is only one reflection of how incredibly late these trials are coming into place,” said Theary Seng, founder of the Cambodian Center for Justice and Reconciliation and herself, too, a victim of the Khmer Rouge regime, having lost her parents and spent five months in prison. She has withdrawn from the tribunal process, and instead put her energy into organizing public games of darts featuring the faces of the Khmer Rouge leaders along Phnom Penh’s riverfront – a “way of release” following victims’ frustrations with the trial process, mixed with “dark humor,” she said.


Theary Seng BBC News filming, Nov. 2011

Watch the BBC News coverage

But the trial - a joint enterprise between the UN and Cambodia - has been heavily criticised. Theary Seng, whose parents were killed by the Khmer Rouge, said putting three people on trial for the deaths of 1.7 million simply wasn't enough. (BBC News, 21 Nov. 2011)

Poetic Justice German Filming, 18 Nov. 2011
Filming for German DW-Global with Bastian and Sarin, 18 Nov. 2011. More photos...

Filming by BBC with Guy DeLauney, 17 Nov. 2011. More photos...

Khmer Rouge Trial: Cambodia Awaits Answers

BBC News, 21 Nov. 2011


. . .

Crying for Justice

AFP, 21 Nov. 2011

Khmer Rouge survivor Theary Seng told AFP she was "frustrated beyond words" that only Khieu Samphan looked likely to shed light on what happened. "The people want to know who is behind the Khmer Rouge, we want to see and understand the larger picture and we're not going to get that," she said.

From Tragedy to Sham in Cambodia

Asia Times Online, 19 Nov. 2011

In KI-Media

Others have gone further, arguing that the time might be ripe for the UN to pull the plug on the controversy-plagued court altogether. Last week, Theary Seng, a Cambodian-American survivor of the Khmer Rouge regime and a prominent advocate for victims' rights, withdrew her status as a civil party to the court, describing the proceedings as a "complete sham".

She said the UN should threaten to withdraw after setting some clear conditions for its continued participation. By pressing ahead, Seng said, the world body runs the risk of rubber-stamping a flawed process and further embedding cynicism in the Cambodian population.

"I understand the unwieldiness of any large bureaucracy, but at the end of the day it comes down to personalities, and there have been extremely weak personalities," she said. "In this regard, the UN is complicit."


In the End, Loss of Faith in Tribunal: Former Complainant

Hello VOA Special with Theary Seng, 16 Nov. 2011

Khmer Rouge Victim Quits Tribunal Saying UN-backed Court is a Sham

DPA, 15 Nov. 2011


Prominent Victims' Advocate Quits Khmer Rouge Tribunal

VOA International/English, 15 Nov. 2011

KRT Critic Offers 'Poetic Justice'

The Phnom Penh Post, 16 Nov. 2011

Theary Seng Denounces Tribunal; Introduces Dartboard Scheme

The Cambodia Daily, 16 Nov. 2011


Theary Seng's Press Conference, 15 Nov. 2011
More photos from Poetic Justice/ECCC Withdrawal Press Conference, 15 Nov. 2011

Poetic Justice
Front pages of The Cambodia Daily and The Phnom Penh Post, 16 Nov. 2011


. . .

Click here to read the full press release...


More information at "ECCC Civil Party"

More information at Association of Khmer Rouge Victims in Cambodia

In KI-Media


Theary Seng Criticizes KRT as "Political Farce"

The Phnom Penh Post, 10 Nov. 2011


Radio Free Asia (both AM and PM broadcasts on 10 Nov. 2011)


Cambodian-American Lawyer Withdraws her Civil Party Status

Voice of America Khmer Service, 10 Nov. 2011








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