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Monday, November 21, 2011

France Continues Its Support to Civil Parties’ Defense in the ECCC

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AKP Phnom Penh, November 19, 2011 –

France has decided to provide US$267,000 for the continuation of the French NGO Avocats Sans Frontières France (ASF France) program which aims at supporting the defense of civil parties in the framework of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), according to a press release of the Embassy of France dated Nov. 18.

Within the framework of this program, ASF France has committed since May 2008 to support and represent victims of the Khmer Rouge regime who are civil parties to cases 001 and 002 carried by the ECCC, it said, adding that France has supported this program since it has been created.

This civil parties’ support is part of the ECCC proceedings and participates in their mission’s objective which is to try the senior Khmer Rouge leaders and the most responsible. It aims at contributing to foster the rule of law in Cambodia and to recognize the status of Khmer Rouge regime victims. The original character of the ECCC among international jurisdictions is to allow victims who have suffered to express themselves and to take an active part in finding and prosecuting crimes investigated by the Court.

In order to support victims’ participation to cases 001 and 002 trials, French lawyers members of ASF France, experts of international criminal trials, took turns in Phnom Penh to monitor victims’ complaints files, in conjunction with Cambodian lawyers.

Considering case 001, these lawyers’ teams have supported and ensured the defense of 28 civil parties, on a total of 94 civil parties to this lawsuit. For the second trial that began in July 2011, the legal team of ASF France continues this work by supporting 1,130 civil parties. Meanwhile, France has supported the NGO Legal Aid of Cambodia which represents more than 560 civil parties in case 002. For the record, in total, 40 percent of civil parties in case 002 are represented by Franco-Cambodian lawyers’ teams.

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