Lawyers of Other 3 Khmer Rouge leaders Hold the Same Stance Despite Duch’s Failure

Posted by khmernews on December 11, 2007

Chan Chamnan

According to Khmer Rouge Tribunal’s officials, Lawyers of Khieu Samphan, Ieng Sary and Ieng Thirith, are still holding the same stance to appeal despite Duch’s failure. In contrast, they are trying very hard so that their clients will be released on bail. However, everything will depend on the decision of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal’s Judges who will hear the cases like that of Duch.
On Monday, December 3, the Co-Judges of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal announced the verdict to deny bail of Kaing Guek Eav, alias Duch, former chief of Tuol Sleng (S-21) prison. The decision of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal’s Co-Judges has received great support from Cambodians as well as civil society organizations’ officials and national and international observers since Kaing Guek Eav, also known as Duch, was a ruthless murderer during the “Killing Fields” regime. Therefore, the Khmer Rouge Tribunal has continued to detain this person awaiting trial in mid-2008.

Pat Pov Seang, defence lawyer of Ieng Thirith, former social affairs minister of the Khmer Rouge regime, claimed that he would submit the appeal next week on the 11th or the 12th of [December]. He explains that the failure of Duch is not a threat to his client’s appeal. “… Duch has his own reason, and for my side I have different reason, [and] on the 11th or 12th I will decide to appeal,” said the lawyer.

Up to the present time, 5 former senior Khmer Rouge leaders and most responsible people are being detained provisionally at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal awaiting trial. Those people include Ieng Sary, former deputy prime minister, minister of foreign affairs, his wife Ieng Thirith, Khieu Samphan, former head of state of the Khmer Rouge regime, Nuon Chea, former president of the Khmer Rouge National Assembly, and Kaing Guek Eav, alias Duch, former Tuol Sleng prison’s chief, known as ruthless murderer.

Nuon Chea has submitted his appeal since last month when the Pre-Trial Chamber was hearing the appeal by Duch. Ang Udom, Ieng Sary’s defence lawyer, is planning to appeal on December 12 against the detention of his client. Lawyer Ang Udom claimed that the appeal case of Ieng Sary was not like that of Duch. The lawyer, however, does not tell the thing that makes Ieng Sary’s case more special than that of Duch.

Khieu Samphan’s Co-Lawyer Say Borey is waiting for his partner Jacques Verges to arrive in Cambodia at the end of this week to prepare the case file to appeal the order of provisional detention of Khieu Samphan. “The appeal will be a difficult task for defenders, but I have some optimism that I have to do it since the court is a model court which will be followed in the future,” said Say Borey.

Khmer Rouge Tribunal’s Co-Prosecutor Chea Leang considers the lawyers’ intentions to submit the appeals as “good participation” in the process of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal through legal combat. “It is quite good since we can explain the law from both sides and see how law protects the accused and how we, on another side, should response, when they appeal,” claimed Chea Leang.

The Co-Prosecutors and Co-Investigating Judges of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal have arrested 5 former senior Khmer Rouge leaders and people most responsible for the Khmer Rouge regime, on the grounds that they might flee, be taken revenge on, or destroy evidence. The 5 former Khmer Rouge leaders have been charged with crimes against humanity and war crimes as well as crimes of mass killings of more than 1.7 million Cambodians in their reign of terror. However, these former Khmer Rouge leaders have cowardly denied responsibility for those crimes they committed in 3 years, 8 months and 20 days.

Cambodian victims of the “Killing Fields” regime have called on the Khmer Rouge Tribunal not to grant bail to any former Khmer Rouge leader [….].

At the moment, the U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues is visiting Cambodia in order to observe the latest development of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, which is remarkably moving forward. Clint Williamson, U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues, is going to meet the chief of the Office of Administration of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal and Deputy Prime Minister H.E. Sok An, Minister in charge of the Council of Ministers. However, it is not known whether or not the United States will fund the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, which is facing budgetary shortfalls.

Cambodians both living inside and outside the country have been seriously concerned after they knew that it is not until mid-2008 that the trial of former Khmer Rouge leaders gets underway, because they could see that the detained former Khmer Rouge leaders are all very old and that some of them are with serious illnesses. They are worried that those former Khmer Rouge leaders might die before the trial takes place. Therefore, the United Nations and the Royal Government of Cambodia must push the process of the Khmer Rouge trial to happen as soon as possible in order not to make the expense of $56.3 million become useless.

Unofficial Translation
-Extracted from Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol. 14, #3331, Friday, December 7, 2007.


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