Khmernews

ECCC Holds Third Plenary Session to Review Its Process

Posted by khmernews on February 25, 2008

Phnom Svay

Phnom Penh: The third plenary session of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) is being undertaken for 6 days from Monday 28 January to Friday 2 February 2008 in order to review its activities in the past 6 months and set the future activities. It focuses on evaluating the law and its quality being carried out.
ECCC Spokesman Reach Sambath told Rasmei Kampuchea on January 29 that the plenary session is regularly held in every 6 months, as stated in the ECCC’s Internal Rules. “This year’s session is attended by 28 national and international judges. Including the co-prosecutors, lawyers, experts and other relevant people, there are almost 70 participants,” said Reach Sambath, adding that the meeting was held in Raffles Le Royal in Doun Penh, Phnom Penh.

Reach Sambath said that the plenary session would review the results of the past activities and set objectives for the future.

Kong Srim, president of the plenary session, said that the agenda for the plenary session was to check what should be done to better the Trial Chamber-related Internal Rules, with regard to the experience judges had gained in the past 6 months.

Kong Srim recapped some of the main activities of the Khmer Rouge tribunal as following:

18 July: First Introductory Submission by the Co-Prosecutors to the Co-Investigating Judges

31 July: Co-Investigating Judges charged Kaing Guek Eav (Duch) (for crimes against humanity), and issued Order of Provisional Detention

8 Sept: Co-Investigating Judges charged Nuon Chea (for crimes against humanity and war crimes), and issued Order of Provisional Detention

12 Nov: Co-Investigating Judges charged Ieng Sary (for crimes against humanity and war crimes) and Ieng Thirith (for crimes against humanity), and issued Order of Provisional Detention of both

19 Nov: Co-Investigating Judges charged Khieu Samphan (for crimes against humanity and war crimes) and issued Order of Provisional Detention

20-21 Nov: First public hearing of Pre-Trial Chamber on Appeal by Kaing Guek Eav (Duch) against provisional detention

3 Dec: Pre-Trial Chamber announces its decision to reject the appeal (4 Feb 2008 scheduled commencement of Pre-Trial Chamber of appeal by Nuon Chea against provisional detention)

“We can proudly say that despite the many years lost since the crimes were committed and the long time spent in negotiation, the ECCC, the youngest in the family of internationalized courts, has shown itself to be exemplary when compared with its international and hybrid counterparts,” said Kong Srim.

Meanwhile, he also highlighted some of important facts as follows:

1-Adoption of Internal Rules: the Internal Rules was adopted in a record speed despite the fact that the ECCC is the first hybrid tribunal to be established in a civil law system, and the first to be mandated to follow national procedure

2-No fugitives, and fast arrest and charge of suspects: the first suspect was arrested in less than two weeks from the date of the Introductory Submission, or six weeks from the adoption of the Internal Rules. All five suspects named therein were charged and placed in provisional detention in just four months of the Introductory Submission. No other tribunal has anything like such a record.

3-Victims Participation: the ECCC is the first hybrid court to provide for victim participation as Civil Parties

4-Transparency and public involvement: the ECCC judicial officers have taken a number of unprecedented actions to provide the public access to information and to the proceedings

5-Financial aspects: ECCC is the smallest tribunal, with the lowest budget. We have a staff of around 300 (200 national and 100 international), compared to over 1,000 at the ICTY and ICTR. Our current total budget of around $20 million per year is relatively small, as we can see by comparing it to that of the ICTY (now $157.5m per annum) and ICTR (now $138.5m per annum).

Unofficial Translation
-Extracted from Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol. 16, #4503, Thursday, January 31, 2008.

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