The trial of Ieng Sary will be held on June 30, 2008

Posted by khmernews on July 8, 2008

The extraordinary Chambers in Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) has scheduled to hold the appeal against provisional detention by Ieng Sary, the former deputy prime minister and minister of foreign affairs of the Khmer Rouge regime, on June 30. On Thursday, June 26, the ECCC announced that the trial was allowed to be publicly lived on radio and TV.

An official of the ECCC said on the condition of anonymity that the trial on the appeal against the provisional detention of Ieng Sary on June 30, 2008 will be closely observed by the both local and international observers because this trial appear in parallel to the request for the budget of the ECCC ended at the end of 2009. Therefore, if this trial runs smoothly unlike the trial of Ieng Thirith and Khieu Samphan, the international community and donor countries will surely donate the money to the ECCC in the very near future.

The anonymous official further mentioned that the civil societies and independent observers will closely observe the trial because Ang Oudom, Ieng Sary’s lawyer, said his client is seriously ill and cannot sit for long hours in the court. The civil societies and independent observers are anxious to know about Ieng Sary’s health condition because so far the tribunal seems to try to hide the suspects’ health condition.

Khmer Rouge regime has been condemned for mass killings of an estimated 1.7 million Cambodians between April 17, 1975 and early January 1979. The five former Khmer Rouge leaders presently detained at the Khmer Rouge tribunal awaiting trial include: Nuon Chea, former president of the KR People’s Representative Assembly; Ieng Sary, former KR deputy prime minister and foreign minister; Khieu Samphan, former chairman of KR State Presidium; Ieng Thirith, former KR social actions minister; and Kaing Guek Eav, alias Duch, former director of notorious S-21 torture center.

On May 21 the tribunal held the hearing of the appeal against the provisional detention by Ieng Thirith, but Ieng Thirith could not sit till the end of the trial because she lost her temper. Until now the tribunal has yet to announce the decision whether to release her or not. That’s why the tribunal was criticized of its slow process. The suspension of the trial of the former Khmer Rouge leaders by the tribunal makes the national and international communities worry that those leaders may die before the trial because they are very old and seriously ill. Ieng Sary, former KR deputy prime minister and foreign minister; Khieu Samphan, former chairman of KR State Presidium, for example, have been regularly sent to Calmette hospital because of their ill health.

The observers said that if the tribunal is willing to seek justice for the victims, the trial of Kiang Guek Eav, alias Duch, in September, 2008 won’t be delayed anymore. If the tribunal delays this trial it means that the tribunal is not willing to find justice for the victims. They continued to say that the decision of Ieng Sary’s hearing of appeal against provisional detention on June 30, 2008 will become a mirror to show the willingness of the tribunal in seeking justice for the victims who were killed in the Killing Fields regime, so this trial will run smoothly. In contrast, this trial will face more obstacles if the ECCC is established only for a good look.

Until now, the ECCC, which was co-established by Cambodian government and the United Nations, has not gained the confidence from the public because since its commencement it has been infamous for many things. This tribunal was suspected of its irregularities in the employment practices and of corruption. Moreover, Khmer Rouge tribunal has wasted millions of dollar without any results and is currently seeking more funds.

Unofficial translation
-Extracted from Moneaksekar Khmer, Saturday and Sunday, June 28-29, 2008.


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