K Rouge defence team reacts against co-investigating judges’ acclaim

Posted by khmernews on June 4, 2009

Investigation process to search for Khmer Rouge crime accusation-related truth is facing complexity, resulting in accusation that the special court is slowing its work.

The co-investigating judges of Khmer Rouge tribunal recently claimed that the slow work is because of no cooperation with former senior Khmer Rouge leaders. Cambodian defence team for Khmer Rouge leaders responded that judges’ acclaim was not completely true. On Thursday, two Cambodian defence lawyers representing former Khmer Rouge leaders said that their clients did not reject cooperation with office of co-investigating judges – there were just some problems. Such an acclaim came after co-investigating judge You Bunleng complained that four detained accused persons failed to cooperate with notification. Sar Sovan, Cambodian co-defence lawyer for former Khmer Rouge Head of State Khieu Samphan, said his client always responded to the court and to the co-investigating judges relating to other events.

Son Arun, defence lawyer for former Khmer Rouge National Assembly Nuon Chea, claimed that his client was not ready for questions of the co-investigating judges.

“Nuon Chea is not ready because he was unknowingly arrested. He has no documents and no everything,” Son Arun said. “After 30 years [of the Khmer Rouge fall], he was arrested, causing him not to know how to answer.”

Co-defence lawyer for former Khmer Rouge deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister Ieng Sary and co-lawyer for former Khmer Social Affairs Minister Ieng Thirith could not be reached for comment.

However, proceedings of former Khmer Rouge’s Tuol Sleng prison chief Kaing Guk Eav alias Duch since 30 March have been moving slowly, causing numerous criticisms. It may derive from the issue which causes many not to believe that the tribunal will render justice to victims.

Silence was an absolute right of the accused, Youn Bunleng admitted.

There was also criticism that tribunal’s investigation case was slowed or delayed. But tribunal officials instead conceal the truth, claiming that the delay was an effort to render justice to victims.

The office of the co-investigating judges is resuming investigation into cases of four Khmer Rouge accused persons detained and awaiting trials like Duch.

The four accused failed to admit their guilt committed during the ‘Killing Fields’ like Duch who is courageous of admitting his real guilt. In one hand, co-lawyers for Nuon Chea, Khieu Samphan, Ieng Sary and Ieng Thirith do not seem to believe that the tribunal will provide their clients with fair trials.

Since 30 March hearing, nationals and internationals have observed that Tuol Sleng prison or S-21 torture center was a place where the people were most brutally torture under the Khmer Rouge regime. Khmer Rouge implemented Vietnamese Communist leader party Ho Chi Minh in order to killed their own people by using brutal methods at Tuol Sleng prison and at other prisons in the ‘Killing Fields’. In addition, Duch outlined that the killing under the Khmer Rouge regime stemmed from conflicts between Khmer Rouge leaders and Vietnam’s then-communist party boss Le Duan.

However, national and international observers do not believe that the Cambodia’s UN-backed genocide court will render justice to victims. Since its establishment, the tribunal has faced countless barriers. Until now allegations of corruption has not been addressed yet.

Unofficial Translation
Extract from the Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol 16, #3771, Saturday-Sunday, 30-31 May 2009


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