Warning to Those Who Commit War Crimes

Stephen J. Rapp
Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues 
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
June 28, 2011

AP GVW Video

AMBASSADOR RAPP: A trial that I've said, and I believe it at this time, is the most important in the world, because it involves crimes of immense proportions, the alleged killing of these 1.7 million people, a crime that still has an effect on everyone in this country.

AMBASSADOR RAPP: People would like to see this tribunal finish at the end of Case 002** but that is not a political decision. The decision is to be made by this court according to the statute, according to the law, according to the facts that are developed. So that's what we want to see respected. In all of the international justice institutions that we talk about, there are people out there, people today criticizing the ICC's (International Criminal Court) indictment of Gadhafi, including chiefs of state of members states of the ICC, people are expressing views, and what we say is whatever the views of these individuals are, the rules, the orders of these courts need to be followed, and that's what we're asking for.

AMBASSADOR RAPP: Hundreds have been killed, and certainly since then, by Gadhafi's forces, thousands have been killed, and so now a decision has been made, and under United Nations Security Council resolution number 1970, all states are urged to cooperate with the court, and Libya specifically is mandated to cooperate with the court, as are the member states of the ICC, and we are looking for that, too, to happen. And I think the signal, as I said of what happened here in Case 002, with these senior leaders coming to trial after a long period of time, what happened a month ago with Ratko Mladic on the run for fifteen years, being arrested in Serbia and taken to The Hague, is a signal that if you commit these crimes there will be consequences.

**referring to the United Nations-backed tribunal against four senior members of the Khmer Rouge regime]