Pre-Trial Chamber To Release Nuon Chea’s Two Verdicts on Weekend
Posted by khmernews on February 25, 2008
A source close to the Khmer Rouge tribunal said that the Pre-Trial Chamber of the Khmer Rouge tribunal is going to issue two verdicts this weekend for Nuon Chea’s hearings on Friday, February 8, 2008. [They will issue their decisions: firstly on an objection by the Defence against the participation by Civil Parties in this appeal hearing; and subsequently on the appeal against provisional detention.]
The participants in the February 8 hearing became suspicious that only once case but there are two verdicts to be made and when there was the presence of plaintiffs in Nuon Chea’s appeal hearings, unlike those of Duch on November 19-20.
Khmer Rouge tribunal’s co-prosecutor Robert Petit said that [the participation of the plaintiffs] conformed to the Internal Rules of the Pre-Trial Chamber. However, the national and international communities are waiting to see the ruling on Nuon Chea’s hearings soon because in the hearings Nuon Chea remarkably asked for helps from Samdech Akkar Mohasena Padei Techo Hun Sen.
Besides, Nuon Chea also denied his responsibility for the mass killings of an estimated 1.7 million Cambodians during the Killing Field regime from April 17, 1975 to early 1979.
Originally, observers of the Khmer Rouge tribunal have noticed that the appeal hearing of Kaing Guek Eav, former director of Tuol Sleng prison, was held on November 19-20, 2007 and Nuon Chea’s hearing was held on February 8, 2008, while those of Khieu Samphan, former president of Khmer Rouge State Presidium, Ieng Sary, former deputy prime minister and foreign minister, and Ieng Thirith, former Social Actions minister, have yet to be scheduled.
Observers and diplomats hope that the appeal hearings of Khieu Samphan, Ieng Sary and Ieng Thirith against the provisional detention will be conducted soon, after the release of the Nuon Chea’s hearing verdicts. It should be noticed that all the five detained former senior Khmer Rouge leaders and people most responsible for the Khmer Rouge regime have appealed against their provisional detention.
Based on a bunch of the evidence, documents, and charges of crimes against humanity and war crimes, [it is believed that] the Pre-Trial Chamber will not allow them to stay provisionally outside jail.
Khmer Rouge tribunal’s officials once claimed that the process of the Khmer Rouge trial will be able to get underway in June 2008 without delay. However, analysts express their concerns that it will not be possible to proceed as planned due to the lack of funds and other unexpected obstacles. For instance, the Cambodian Bar Association, led by Ky Tech, has recently made a hearing of Nuon Chea once adjourned.
A source from the Khmer Rouge tribunal claimed that the Cambodian side will run out of funds in April while the UN side at the end of 2008. If the international community and donors do not inject more funds in time, the Khmer Rouge trial will be stalled in the middle of its process. Therefore, the royal government of Cambodia and the United Nations must try to find funds as soon as possible to enable the judicial process to proceed smoothly.
An NGO’s official said that up to present donors including the US have yet to decide to fund the Khmer Rouge tribunal facing budgetary crisis. It is because the Khmer Rouge tribunal has not cleared away the scandal of alleged corruption which made it an infamous hybrid court. Moreover, the capacity of the tribunal has yet to meet the requirements of the US.
Former Khmer Rouge State Presidium President Khieu Samphan once claimed that he was a “patriot” and that Vietnam was deeply involved with Democratic Kampuchea. For this reason, national and international communities want the Khmer Rouge trial to begin as soon as possible to give Khieu Samphan a chance to reveal the truth behind the curved wooden dock. Especially, they want Khieu Samphan to testify his assertion.
The general public wants the Khmer Rouge trial to start in June 2008 as planned in order to seek justice for more than 1.7 million victims who lost their lives in the Killing Fields regime. However, if the trial is still delayed, the former Khmer Rouge leaders being detained at the special tribunal may die before the trial takes place and the efforts made so far by the UN and the royal government of Cambodia will be of no use.
-Extracted from Moneakskar Khmer, vol. 15, #3385, Tuesday, February 12, 2008.