Appeal hearing on Im Chaem dismissal concludes

Accused war criminal Im Chaem sits at a house in Oddar Meanchey’s Anlong Veng district in 2014.
Accused war criminal Im Chaem sits at a house in Oddar Meanchey’s Anlong Veng district in 2014. Charlotte Pert

Appeal hearing on Im Chaem dismissal concludes

Appeal hearings on the dismissal of the case against Im Chaem at the Khmer Rouge tribunal concluded today, with a decision from the panel of judges expected in the second quarter of next year.

Chaem, an alleged district secretary under the brutal Khmer Rouge regime, was charged with crimes against humanity including extermination and enslavement. Her case was dismissed by the co-investigating judges in February, prompting an appeal from the international co-prosecutor. His Cambodian counterpart, however, supported the dismissal.

Prime Minister Hun Sen has long publicly opposed trying Chaem - and any other defendants beyond the three already convicted - raising questions of political interference. A critical issue as to whether the case should proceed is determining if Chaem, as a district chief, can be considered “most responsible” for crimes committed by the regime and is therefore under the court's jurisdiction. She did not attend the hearing yesterday.

“According to the International Co-Prosecutor’s final submission, Im Chaem fits the criteria for inclusion within the ECCC’s [Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia] personal jurisdiction… through her leadership positions at the district and sector levels in both the Southwest and Northwest Zones," an ECCC press release reads. "The National Co-Prosecutor submitted that she did not fall within the ECCC’s personal jurisdiction to face prosecution.”

Civil party lawyers, meanwhile, argued yesterday that dismissing Chaem’s case from the tribunal should not prohibit another Cambodian court from taking it up, as the current dismissal judgement claims.

“The decision [on the appeal] will be final with no further appeals and would require an affirmative vote of at least four out of the five judges," today's statement reads.

MOST VIEWED

  • US names new ambassador to Cambodia

    US President Donald Trump on Friday appointed W Patrick Murphy as the new US Ambassador to Cambodia, replacing incumbent William A Heidt. A press release posted on the White House’s website said nominee W Patrick Murphy is currently acting principal deputy assistant secretary at

  • Kingdom is at a crossroads between East, West after poll

    It was dubbed a success by caretaker prime minister Hun Sen after the electoral victory of his Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), which is poised to take all seats in the National Assembly. But the July 29 national election has not been positively looked at by

  • Chinese influence to sweep Kingdom?

    Growing Cambodia-China ties have seen the latter’s influence sweep across the Kingdom through increased investments and tourism. The Asian giant has become the leading source of foreign funds in Cambodia, fuelling the construction sector with huge casino and hotel projects. Much of the growth

  • Western poll flak is ‘pressure to take the Kingdom hostage’

    After last month’s national elections brought praise for the orderly manner they were run and managed, the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) spokesman Sok Eysan dismissed criticism from the West as a “violation of the Kingdom’s independence”. He said the attitude of