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Diplomacy in Action

Trial of Surviving leaders of Cambodia's Brutal Khmer Rouge Regime

Stephen J. Rapp
Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues 
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
June 27, 2011


AP GVW Video

AMBASSADOR RAPP: It’s great to be here for the beginning of this trial, to see it starting; this is at this time the most important trial in the world. It involves four people who were in the leadership of a government allegedly responsible for murdering 25 percent of their population, almost two million victims. It really is a case of tremendous importance to this country, because this crime affected everybody here, an effort to take this country back to year zero, and people not knowing exactly what happened, why it happened, and how it happened and I think this case will help answer these questions.

AMBASSADOR RAPP: I think that for the Cambodian society, it's extremely important, and then for the world, it's important. After Nuremberg, for 45 years there really wasn't any international justice, and it began again in the former Yugoslavia, and now we have a situation where whenever there are atrocities against civilians, people say there's got to be accountability and when cases like this happen, when (Ratko) Mladic is brought in even 15 years after Srebrenica, it's a message to others who might commit similar crimes, that there are going to be consequences. That it may not happen tomorrow or the next day, but eventually, you'll be in the dock as well.

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