Judges, Prosecutors Discuss System’s Problems
Monday, April 10, 2006
A two-and-a-half-day conference attended by judges and prosecutors from across Cambodia concluded on Friday, though several participants said they felt little had been achieved, as any power to bring change to the judiciary lay outside their control.
Speaking to the conference held at the Council for the Development of Cambodia building, Justice Minister Ang Vong Vathana told participants he recognized the problems that they faced. “I believed judges and prosecutors are having difficulty fulfilling this duty,” he said. “I am trying to find a solution to help you all.”
Problems included the holding of suspects for longer than the legal six-month pre-trial detention period. “The workshop decided to allow judges and prosecutors to try their best to reduce the cases over the permitted [pre-trial] limit,” conference organizers said in a statement.
The conference criticized officials for imprisoning people who were unable to pay compensation to their victims in civil and penal cases, and also called on prosecutors not to imprison victims of crime and acquit the perpetrators.
<>“We will order the court to prepare a list because we need to consider it seriously,” he said. >
One deputy prosecutor said on condition of anonymity that he felt the conference had been largely futile. “This is a conference of court officials but we cannot make any decision because we are not independent. We just repackaged the old issues,” he said.