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Hopes for Khmer Rouge tribunal influence on Cambodia’s courts ‘at risk’ amid political crackdown

Publication date November 13, 2017 | 12:00 am

When the Khmer Rouge tribunal was first established it was seen not only as a chance at justice for the regime’s victims, but as a potential example for the country’s courts to emulate.

International Co-Prosecutor Nicholas Koumjian (left) and his national counterpart, Chea Leang, differed on whether suspect Ao An should be tried in summaries of submissions yesterday.

Team at odds over Ao An case

Publication date September 1, 2017 | 12:00 am

Ao An – the former Khmer Rouge deputy secretary of the regime’s Central Zone – is responsible for genocide, oversaw more than 40,000 deaths and should be sent to trial, the international side of the Khmer Rouge tribunal’s prosecution team has argued, though the national side maintains his case should be thrown out. The deep rift in the prosecution when it comes to the court’s government-opposed later cases was once again put on display yesterday, as the team released separate summaries of their final submissions to the co-investigating judges in An’s case. An, who is charged with genocide and other crimes against humanity, is one of four controversial cases before the tribunal.

Alleged Khmer Rouge navy chief Meas Muth, a suspect in Case 003, smokes a cigarette at his house in Battambang province in 2015.

Tribunal ruling to keep cases open welcomed, ‘threats’ decried

Publication date August 14, 2017 | 12:00 am

Khmer Rouge tribunal observers have welcomed a decision on Friday to continue pursuing – at least for now – a set of controversial cases against former leaders of the regime, but condemned co-investigating judges’ threats to prosecute leakers and journalists. In a confidential document – a segment of which was obtained by The Post in May – the judges had suggested putting a “permanent stay” on Case 003 against alleged naval commander Meas Muth; Case 004, against Yim Tith; and Case 004/02, against Ao An. Those cases, the judges proposed, would be shut down and permanently sealed for the “sole reason” of “lack of funding” – a suggestion that was met with deep scepticism ...

Khmer Rouge tribunal gets funds, case deadline extension

Publication date July 26, 2017 | 12:00 am

Funds continue to flow for the Khmer Rouge tribunal, and the case against alleged former Khmer Rouge naval chief Meas Muth is moving forward even as the ultimate fate of the case still hangs in the balance, according to announcements made yesterday. The prosecution and defence team for Muth were yesterday given a three-month deadline to file their final submissions but whether Case 003 against Muth, along with cases 004 against Yim Tith and 004/02 against Ao An, will actually go ahead remains unclear. Co-investigating judges proposed halting those cases in May for the “sole reason” of “lack of funding”, a claim which several observers said likely masked more nefarious reasons.

International Co-Prosecutor Nicholas Koumjian seen during an ECCC hearing in 2015. Nhet Sok Heng/ECCC

Chaem ruling to be appealed

Publication date July 24, 2017 | 12:00 am

The Khmer Rouge tribunal’s international co-prosecutor said he will appeal the investigating judges’ decision to dismiss the case against Im Chaem on the grounds that she was not a senior leader and could not be tried as one of those “most responsible” for the crimes under the regime. The judges said the former Preah Netr Preah district secretary “had the authority to order executions” and was a “trusted and close aide” of Ta Mok, known as “the butcher”, who purged Khmer Rouge soldiers. Yet ultimately they deemed Chaem too lowly in the Khmer Rouge leadership to face the court.

Meas Muth defence counsel Michael Karnavas attends a hearing in the Khmer Rouge tribunal’s Case 002 in 2012. Mark Peters/ECCC

Muth’s lawyer calls for case to be terminated

Publication date July 4, 2017 | 12:00 am

The defence team for Meas Muth has said terminating the proceedings against the alleged Khmer Rouge naval commander is the “only legitimate and lawful op

Former Khmer Rouge head of state Khieu Samphan, attends a Case 002/02 hearing earlier this month. ECCC

No apologies: Khmer Rouge Tribunal hears defiant final words from accused

Publication date June 26, 2017 | 12:00 am

Former Khmer Rouge leader Khieu Samphan’s final words at the Khmer Rouge tribunal on Friday were peppered with admissions and excuses, but he made no apology for the regime’s 1.7 million victims. Samphan chose to deny and justify, while his co-accused, former Brother Number Two Nuon Chea, opted for silence. “The Communist Party of Kampuchea leaders did not exterminate our people,” Samphan said, thrusting his finger to drive home his point. “I know that they really suffered,” he said, referring to the civil parties, who are victims of the regime represented in the courtroom.

Khieu Samphan speaks at the Khmer Rouge tribunal on June 14, 2017. ECCC

‘We did not exterminate our people’: Defiant Khieu Samphan gives final statements at Khmer Rouge tribunal

Publication date June 23, 2017 | 5:11 pm

In the last words the Khmer Rouge tribunal will hear before a verdict is issued in Case 002/02, former Khmer Rouge head of state Khieu Samphan said he was not a murderer on Friday and denied knowledge of grave crimes against humanit

Defence accuses Khmer Rouge tribunal of ‘magic’

Publication date June 21, 2017 | 12:00 am

The Khmer Rouge tribunal has already achieved the “holy grail” of a life sentence for former leader Khieu Samphan – now it should focus on the facts and deliver him a fair trial, his defence lawyer Anta Guisse told the court yesterday in her closing statements. Further, potentially genocidal language found in Khmer Rouge speeches was taken out of context and was meant to “inspire” soldiers and give them “a bit of spunk”, she argued. “Mr Khieu Samphan is going to die in jail. He is going to die in jail, and he knows that,” she said. “Mission accomplished . . . You sentenced him to life and that was the objective of this trial.”

Khmer Rouge Brother Number Two Nuon Chea during a trial hearing in Case 002 in 2012. ECCC

Nuon Chea defence lashes out at court bias, 'Manichean narrative'

Publication date June 16, 2017 | 6:23 pm

The defence counsel for Khmer Rouge second-in-command Nuon Chea launched into its closing statements today, questioning the prosecution’s narrative and attacking the integrity of the court itself.

Sao Van gives his testimony before the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia during Case 002/02 against Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan yesterday in Phnom Penh. ECC==\]

Ex-cadre recalls meetings in KRT testimony

Publication date February 2, 2016 | 12:00 am

Witness Sao Van, a commune official during the Khmer Rouge regime who attended meetings presided over by the Southwest Zone’s Sector 13 chief Ta Saom, denied the existence of policies to harm Lon Nol officials and other allegedly ta

Prum Sarat appears before the ECCC to give testimony in Case 002/02 against Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan yesterday in Phnom Penh. ECCC

Ex-officer describes chain of command at KRT

Publication date January 27, 2016 | 12:00 am

Former Khmer Rouge military officer Prum Sarat continued testifying before the Khmer Rouge tribunal yesterday, providing details on how orde