'Killing Fields' Prosecutor Quits, Slams Interference

Denies rift over untried suspects caused move
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 25, 2009 6:30 AM CDT
Canadian prosecutor Robert Petit sits in a meeting room in Phnom Penh, Cambodia    (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)
camera-icon View 5 more images

(Newser) – The international prosecutor at the Khmer Rouge war crimes tribunal has abruptly resigned, the Independent reports. Robert Petit insisted that the resignation is due to family reasons, but he warned that the court is in danger from corruption and political meddling from Cambodian government official. Five former Khmer Rouge cadres have been charged with crimes against humanity but Petit has long insisted more should be tried.

"I think it is very disturbing that anyone other than judicial officials—be they elected officials or anyone else—think they can legitimately tell any court what to do," Petit said. "Of course, that goes to the very legitimacy of the process and must be addressed." He denied rumors that he was quitting because of a clash with his Cambodian co-prosecutor.