Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Parties tackle Im Chaem dismissal

Parties tackle Im Chaem dismissal

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.

Parties tackle Im Chaem dismissal

Lawyers at the Khmer Rouge tribunal presented arguments yesterday on whether to proceed with a trial against former regime district leader Im Chaem in a closed door appeal hearing.

Charges against Chaem were dismissed in February, with defence teams arguing that her position was not high enough for her to be considered one of those most responsible for the crimes of the Khmer Rouge. The decision was appealed by International Co-Prosecutor Nicholas Koumjian.

The government has controversially opposed all future cases, including Chaem’s, with Prime Minister Hun Sen publicly claiming that hearing any cases beyond the two already heard could cause civil war. Amid the government pressure, the co-prosecutors’ office has been split along national lines, with Koumjian pushing to go forward with the trial and his Cambodian counterpart Chea Leang moving to dismiss charges.

Civil party lawyer Lyma Nguyen confirmed that her team made submissions yesterday, explaining that they focused on challenging the dismissal decision’s claim that dismissing the case also clears Chaem of any responsibility in a lower Cambodian court.

“We believe that these findings were erroneous and further, extraneous to the Co-Investigating Judges’ core task of determining whether Im Chaem falls within the personal jurisdiction of the ECCC,” she said via email.

Nguyen went on to say that the judges’ decision may “usurp the sovereignty of the Kingdom of Cambodia to determine its own jurisdiction over any future domestic prosecutions of Khmer-Rouge era crimes and effectively amount to a declaration of an unlawful blanket immunity for very serious crimes”.

The international and national defence counsels will be given a total of four hours to respond today.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hong Kong firm done buying Coke Cambodia

    Swire Coca-Cola Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed Swire Pacific Ltd, on November 25 announced that it had completed the acquisition of The Coca-Cola Co’s bottling business in Cambodia, as part of its ambitions to expand into the Southeast Asian market. Swire Coca-Cola affirmed

  • Moody’s sets outlook rating to ‘negative’ for Cambodia

    US global rating agency Moody’s Investors Service Inc on November 15 announced that it downgraded Cambodia’s outlook from “stable” to “negative” and maintained its B2 local and foreign currency issuer ratings. “The negative outlook reflects a deteriorating external position as illustrated by the severe

  • Korean first lady paves way for ill boy’s surgery

    A 14-year-old boy with congenital heart disease who was lucky enough to meet with South Korean first lady Kim Keon-hee may get the chance of a lifetime and receive surgery and treatment at Asan Medical Center in Seoul, South Korea. After seeing his plight, many

  • NagaWorld union leader arrested at airport after Australia trip

    Chhim Sithar, head of the Labour Rights Supported Union of Khmer Employees at NagaWorld integrated casino resort, was arrested on November 26 at Phnom Penh International Airport and placed in pre-trial detention after returning from a 12-day trip to Australia. Phnom Penh Municipal Court Investigating Judge

  • Hun Sen’s Covid infection caused by ‘weakened antibody’ after summit

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said exhaustion from heavy workload before and during the recent ASEAN Summit may have led to him contracting Covid-19 due to his weakened immune system, while rejecting speculations that the infection was caused by leaders of some countries who did not

  • Kingdom’s rice crowned world’s No1

    Cambodia’s Phka Rumduol jasmine variety has been crowned the World’s Best Rice for the fifth time at the TRT (The Rice Trader) World Rice Conference in Phuket, Thailand on November 17, according to leaders of the Kingdom’s apex rice industry body. Phka Rumduol