KRT Summry News on June 2009

Posted by khmernews on July 22, 2009

In June 2009, media report news relating to document loss of Nuon Chea’s defense team and a request to the court to address allegations of corruption within Khmer Rouge tribunal. In this month, the local newspaper also reports trial of former Tuol Sleng prison chief Kaing Guek Eav, alias Duch and his confession of crimes committed once he held the position as S-21 security center director, and other news relating to resignation of international co-prosecutor Robert Petit.

Last week, international co-defense lawyer Michiel Pestman representing Nuon Chea said his documents were stolen and he spotted the documents floating in canal near the Khmer Rouge tribunal’s office. He voiced concern over security in the tribunal and urged the tribunal’s security office to investigate the case.
According to a Khmer Rouge tribunal official, the government officials and tribunal officials are not scheduled to meet with Nuon Chea’s defense team to discuss allegations of corruption within the hybrid court. However, the defense team will not give up this stance in urging legal actions to be taken over the allegations of corruption.

Kaing Guek Eav has been provisionally detained by the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, ECCC, since 31 July 2007. Khmer Rouge tribunal on 15 June issued a press release, reading that the trial chamber rejects a bail release request of Kaing Guek Eav alias Duch.

Duch claimed, “At S-21 torture center or Tuol Sleng prison, infants were not left alive. I abided to implement Communist Part of Kampuchea policy. I am completely responsible for the crimes.” The former Tuol Sleng prison chief told Cambodia’s war crimes court Monday that he was responsible for infant murder by secret police under his supervision. He even trained them to interrogate and kill prisoners without interrogation and to consider those prisoners as enemies.

In a hearing held 9 June 2009, Duch asserted that he had little knowledge of Khmer Rouge-Vietnam armed conflict as in the era he was performing his tasks at S-21 torture center. Duch reiterated that Communist Party of Kampuchea, CPK, under supervision of Pol Pot and Vietnamese troops led to a chronic and deadly conflict.

Former genocide regime’s Tuol Sleng prison chief Kaing Guek Eav alias Duch told Cambodia’s war crimes court on 10 June that 345 Vietnamese inmates were sent to S-21 security center during Khmer Rouge regime. The Vietnamese inmates arrested in 1978 were categorized into three types: soldiers, spies, and civilians. Judge Nil Nonn interrogated Duch full morning into Tuol Sleng prisoners’ living condition. Duch responded he was not aware of the prisoners’ condition.

On 17 June 2009, Duch told Cambodia’s war crimes court, “At least 12,380 prisoners were killed at S-21 security center. The prisoners were killed at different locations: first, at a hospital in Kandal province’s Ta Khmao; second: at Tuol Sleng prison or S-21 compound; third: at Chhoeung Ek killing fields in the outskirt of Phnom Penh.” Duch said Khmer Rouge Brother Number 1 Pol Pot and Brother Number 2 Nuon Chea ordered to set the Western bodies on fire in order to destroy evidence.

Trial of former Tuol Sleng prison chief Kaing Guek Eav, alias Duch, has proceeding for three months. Now defense lawyer Kar Savuth representing Duch told Rasmei Kampuchea about Duch’s condition and reason why his client admits crimes before Cambodia’s war crimes court. He has released his feeling as admitting his guilt and he reported to the court on who were the most senior murderers in Democratic Kampuchea (DK) and who ordered him to the killing in which he put the order to his subordinates. So he released his feeling and made apology for all the victims’ family.

Public Affairs Chief Reach Sambath said in 17 June weekly press conference, the next three-month trial would be 6 July until 1 October 2009, adding that it was a second step. Civil society officials who monitor Duch’s trial criticized that since 30 March hearing, it was not likely to get a remarkable result. Moreover, the tribunal is being tainted by controversies like Victims Unit presidency which is under criticism. In addition, allegations of corruption are not addressed.

The Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) voiced concern over Helen Jarvis appointment as Victims Unit chief at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), who have been worked as advisor to the Cambodian government for many years. Some civil society and the CCHR lose trust as she holds the position.

In an appeal filed to the pre-trial chamber last Friday and publicized on 22 June, Ieng Sary’s co-defense lawyers Ang Udom and Michael Canavas insisted the pre-trial chamber to accept their appeal relating to corruption allegations and urged the pre-trial chamber to open an oral hearing as soon as possible.

Khmer Rouge tribunal’s international co-prosecutor Robert Petit will quit effective 1 September 2009 for personal and family reasons. Robert and Chea Leang made a report attached with respective submissions filed to the pre-trial chamber of the Khmer Rouge tribunal in which a result is to be announced.


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