Saturday, November 26, 2005

Top Administrators Named to Khmer Rouge Tribunal

Director and Deputy Director of Office of Administration of Extraordinary Chambers Appointed by Royal Decree

According to procedures defined in the Agreement between the United Nations and the Royal Government of Cambodia concerning the Prosecution under Cambodian Law of Crimes Committed during the period of Democratic Kampuchea, appointment of the two top administrators for the Khmer Rouge Trials has now been finalised.

His Majesty King Norodom Sihamoni signed Royal Decrees appointing His Excellency Sean Visoth as Director of the Office of Administration of the Extraordinary Chambers, and assigning Ms Michelle Lee as Deputy Director, a position to which she was appointed on 14 October by the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

His Excellency Sean Visoth has held a number of senior administrative posts within the Cambodian government (including in the Office of the Council of Ministers, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Supreme National Council) and since 1999 has been the Executive Secretary of the Cambodian Government Task Force for Cooperation with Foreign Legal Experts for the Preparation of the Proceedings for the Trial of Khmer Rouge Criminals. His Excellency Tony Kranh, Under-Secretary of State of the Office of the Council of Ministers and member of the Council of Jurists was appointed as Reserve Director in the same Royal Decree.

Ms Lee will lead a UN Startup Assessment Mission to Phnom Penh in early December to discuss with the Cambodian Government Secretariat of the Task Force details of the establishment of the Extraordinary Chambers over the coming months.

Both the United Nations and Cambodian sides are now in the process of selecting the judicial officers (judges, co-investigating judges and co-prosecutors), determining other senior administrative positions and making other preparations for the Extraordinary Chambers.

As soon as sufficient funds have been pledged, the necessary alterations will be commenced to enable the premises at Kambol to be used for court and administrative activities of the Extraordinary Chambers.

At the present moment the $43 million of the United Nations side of the budget is almost fully subscribed, but the Cambodian side still lacks $10.8 million. The Cambodian Government is appealing to other governments for urgent action to help meet this gap through bilateral contributions.

Phnom Penh, 25 November 2005


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