Pre-Trial Chamber Adjourned Nuon Chea’s Hearing Verdict

Posted by khmernews on February 25, 2008


Phnom Penh: The Pre-Trial Chamber of the Khmer Rouge tribunal decided on February 8, 2008 to adjourn the Nuon Chea’s appeal hearing against the provisional detention, and the verdict whether to release or continue to detain him will be ruled later.
The February 8 hearing was Nuon Chea’s third hearing against the provisional detention order issued by the co-investigating judges, all parties have given different reasons in compliance with the law.

The victims’ or plaintiffs’ three lawyers eventually supported the conclusion of the co-prosecutors who raised some points on February 7 to request the president of the Pre-Trial Chamber to reaffirm the order of the detention.

“There are two main reasons that we want the accused to be kept in detention,” pointed out the plaintiffs’ lawyers.

They claimed that the first reason was Nuon Chea’s personal security after he was released, since through information dissemination he was now commonly known to everyone both inside and outside the country. “In contrast, before the arrest not many people knew him,” they said.

The victims’ lawyers said that the second reason was that Nuon Chea’s release might affect the public order because Cambodians who have been suffered across the country might make demonstration and cause instability, seeing him live outside jail.

Theary Seng, director of the Center for Social Development, argued in the hearing that the court must continue Nuon Chea’s provisional detention. “We think that the court has fulfilled the conditions stated in the Internal Rules already.”

“If the court decides to release Nuon Chea on bail and if he dies of any reason and cannot attend the trial in the future, we think that it will be a great loss of Cambodian victims who have always wanted to know and see justice for them,” claimed the director.

Nuon Chea’s co-defence lawyer Son Arun in 3-day hearing argued that the provisional detention order issued by the co-investigating judges against his client Nuon Chea did not comply with the legal procedure.

Lawyer Son Arun also asserted that the co-prosecutors’ claim which stated that if his client was released, he would exert pressure on witnesses and destroy evidence was inappropriate.

“My client is very old. Therefore, he has no strength to order or kill any witnesses,” claimed Son Arun, adding that even when he attended the hearing, he needed support in walking. “The claim which states that he will destroy documents if he is released is not correct. Up to the present time, there is no any single page of documents left since the Documentation Center of Cambodia has collected all of them for more than ten years.”

In the February 8 hearing, the co-prosecutors still maintained their augments and requested the Pre-Trial Chamber to keep the co-investigating judges’ order of the provisional detention against Nuon Chea.

In the afternoon of February 8, after the debate the Pre-Trial Chamber decided to hold a one-hour hearing behind the closed doors and resume the public hearing by letting Nuon Chea make the final conclusion.

“My respected compatriots! At present, the stability of our country is moving forward while the peace, national unity and development are getting better and better,” said Nuon Chea, “However, the difficulties and obstacles in the country, especially from other countries have blocked the process of our country’s development for a certain level.”

“The rectangular strategies and “win-win” policy of the royal government, led by Samdech Aka Moha Sena Padey Techo Hun Sen, triumph over obstacles and bring the country to prosperity efficiently. I myself and all the compatriots believe that the Pre-Trial Chamber will use their common sense and “pure” intelligence to wisely and friendly judge my appeal against the detention,” said Nuon Chea.

At the end of the hearing, Prak Kimsan, president of the Pre-Trial Chamber, claimed that the Pre-Trial Chamber will issue two verdicts, one on the participation of the complainants and Nuon Chea’s appeal against his provisional detention.

The president of the Pre-Trial Chamber added that the Pre-Trial Chamber will give two days’ notice of the date the verdicts to be released.

Unofficial Translation
-Extracted from Rasmei Kampuchea, vol. 16, # 4511, Saturday, February 9, 2008.


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