Former Khmer Rouge Leader To Reveal Masterminds In Trial

Posted by khmernews on October 24, 2007


Former Khmer Rouge leaders of the Democratic Kampuchea (DK) regime have been looking for Cambodian and/or foreign lawyers to defend them in the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC).
Khieu Samphan, former head of state of the DK regime, has chosen French Lawyer Jacques Verges and Cambodian Lawyer Say Bory to represent him in the ECCC tasked with seeking justice for the Khmer Rouge atrocities. Khieu Samphan believes that he might be one of the other three among five suspects recommended by Co-Prosecutors of the ECCC to be indicted with crimes of the mass killings of estimated 2 million Cambodians.

The U.N.-supported ECCC have yet to make public the names of the people most responsible for the Khmer Rouge regime from April 17, 1975 to January 6, 1979.

Kieu Samphan claimed that Verges, whose mother had been a Vietnamese, was a well-known attorney in the world.

Khieu Samphan said that the reason he chose the French lawyer was that the hybrid court was also participated by the international side. He claimed he did it to conform to the legal procedure. “There are international judges and prosecutors, so there must be international lawyers in order that there is a balance,” he said.

Khieu Samphan has given an interview to [VOA] radio in Khmer. The interview is believed to have been made in case he is arrested. Khieu Samphan said that Vietnam had been involved in the mass killings of estimated 2 million Cambodians when it influenced Cambodia at the time.

Meanwhile, Cambodians hope that the ECCC will give victims justice and reveal the people who were involved with the Democratic Kampuchea regime.

Khieu Samphan said that the Khmer Rouge leaders had not been “senseless” to kill Cambodians. However, the claim will not make Khieu Samphan able to evade the testimony before judges in the ECCC.

The Defense Support Section of the ECCC has announced that they will send the first list of lawyers in early next month to the Cambodian Bar Association (CBA) to check first before allowing those lawyers to practise in the trial of former Khmer Rouge leaders.

Reach Sambath, spokesman for the ECCC, said Khmer Rouge leaders could seek lawyers to defend them although they had yet indicted. However, he thinks Khieu Samphan seems to be too soon to find lawyers. [….]

Former Khmer Rouge leaders have generally been blamed for the mass killings of some 2 million Cambodians during the radical Khmer Rouge regime. However, the ECCC, which has been established by the United Nations and Cambodian government, have yet to tell the appropriate time for the trial of those surviving former Khmer Rouge leaders.

82-year-old former president of Khmer Rouge National Assembly Nuon Chea, also known as Brother No. 2, has denied that he had been involved in the mass murder. However, he has been arrested and detained at the ECCC already. He has appeared before judges of the ECCC. Nuon Chea once said, “My health is so deteriorating in my old age. Among the five suspects there is me, but I am happy to testify in the court. I am not afraid of going to testify in the court, but I don’t expect that the ECCC can give me justice.”

[Rupert Skilbeck], head of Defense Support Section of the ECCC, said he had received approximately 100 application forms so far. “There are lawyers around the world submitting their application forms. Now we are in the middle of the process and sending those forms to the Cambodian Bar Association to approve,” he said.

Unofficial Translation
-Extracted from Sralanh Khmer, Vol. 03, #527, Wednesday, October 17, 2007.


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