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Supreme Court Chamber Orders To Declassify Over 1,700 Confidential Documents

AKP Phnom Penh, September 07, 2012 –

The Supreme Court Chamber of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) has ordered to declassify 1,749 documents after completing its review of the classification of the 12,000 plus confidential and strictly confidential documents in the case file of Case 001, according to an ECCC press release dated Thursday.

These records include Democratic Kampuchea-era documents of victims’ “confessions” and biographies, witness statements, transcripts of in camera hearings and rogatory letters, it pointed out.

The reclassification process has been conducted in accordance with the general guidelines the Chamber previously specified and in broad consultation with ECCC offices, with particular input from the Trial and Pre-Trial Chambers, Office of the Co-Prosecutors, Victims Support Section, Witness/Expert Support Unit and Court Management Section, it said.

The Supreme Court Chamber sought to strike a reasonable balance between the demand for transparency deriving from the fundamental principles that govern the procedure before the ECCC and the needs for confidentiality dictated by the protection of privacy for victims and witnesses and the preservation of the integrity of on-going proceedings, said the press release.

In this regard, it has considered that wide dissemination of material concerning the Court’s proceedings would support the ECCC’s mandate to contribute to national reconciliation and provide documentary support to the progressive quest for historical truth. The Chamber hopes that wide access to documentation in the case file for the general public, researchers and journalists will promote a genuine public discussion of Cambodia’s tragic past based on firm evidence.

The remaining three quarters of the 12,000 documents are concurrently placed in case files in Cases 002, 003 and 004. Consequently, such documents will be reviewed for reclassification at the end of the proceedings to which they concurrently pertain.

The Records and Archive Unit has been requested to implement today’s Order and place a public list of the reclassified documents in the case file.

For more information on the reclasification guidelines, read (link) “Decision on Guidelines for Reclassification of Documents on Case File”, 26 July 2012, F30/2, concluded the press release.

By SOKMOM Nimul

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