A Statement from U.S. Ambassador to Cambodia W. Patrick Murphy on the ECCC’s Final Legal Case and Upheld Conviction of Khieu Samphan

For Immediate Release
September 22, 2022 


The Supreme Court Chamber of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) issued its judgment on September 22, 2022 to uphold the conviction and second life sentence of former Khmer Rouge head of state Khieu Samphan for genocide, crimes against humanity, and grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions.   

As the ECCC, also known as the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, closes its final criminal case in a judicial process that has endured for over 17 years, it leaves an important legacy detailing some of the worst crimes against humanity in modern history and making contributions to truth, reconciliation, and justice in the Kingdom of Cambodia.  

The United States—working closely with the United Nations, international partners, and Cambodian stakeholders—made critical diplomatic and financial investments to the establishment and activities of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal.  I am proud of these investments and grateful to the contributions over many years of our diplomats, Members of the U.S. Congress, and American legal, academic, civil society, and human rights experts, including in helping reveal the scale of the Khmer Rouge regime’s crimes and atrocities.   

Our foreign assistance programs will continue to support the victims and survivors of these crimes.  I encourage Cambodian authorities also to carry forward with their important responsibility to help protect the legacy of the court, especially by preserving and making publicly available the vast quantity of documents and factual information the ECCC has compiled and produced.  Future generations need access to these archives for research and education in order that we may always remember the victims of these horrific crimes, never forget what happened, and endeavor to ensure such acts are never repeated—in Cambodia or anywhere in the world.