Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Defence won’t present docs

Defence won’t present docs

Accused Nuon Chea watches court proceedings on a screen last week in Phnom Penh at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia during Case 002/02.
Accused Nuon Chea watches court proceedings on a screen last week in Phnom Penh at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia during Case 002/02. ECCC

Defence won’t present docs

Both the Khieu Samphan and Nuon Chea defence teams yesterday confirmed they would abstain from making document presentations a day after the trial chamber ruled that the prosecution’s use of written witness statements – which the teams considered inappropriate – was indeed permissible.

Samphan defender Anita Guisse, relayed that neither team would be presenting, ostensibly in silent protest of the ruling against the previous objections from the Chea defence.

Last week, both teams walked out of hearings after the chamber rebuffed a challenge to the prosecution’s use of the statements, whose evidentiary nature, the defence held, could not be questioned.

Guisse, however, confirmed that her side will, in fact, be providing commentary feedback to the prosecution’s presentation while atypically silent Chea defender, Victor Koppe said “no, we will not”.

Koppe had previously said that, for his team, the decision to bow out of presenting documents hinged on whether the prosecution continued to rely heavily upon the witness statements, called “written records of interviews” (WRIs).

The prosecution and civil party teams, not making any changes to their document list, presented evidence relating to the “1 January” dam, Trapeang Thma dam and Kampong Chhnang airport worksites.

Regarding the “1 January” dam, WRIs placed Democratic Kampuchea leadership – which referred to itself as Angkar – at the worksite, suggesting the accused must have been aware of the atrocities being committed“There were Angkar delegations . . . Pol Pot made two official visits,” read the testimony of a cadre, alias “Vannak”.

Evidence of internal purging of North Zone cadres came in the form of a list of 91 such cadres held at the S-21 prison.

Among the inculpating evidence for the Kampong Chhnang airport were documents describing the regime’s purging “priorities”, as discussed at a meeting that both Chea and Samphan allegedly attended.

Prosecutor William Smith contended that the documents proved the Khmer Rouge viewed that “this dual approach of building whilst purging was neither contradictory nor self-defeating”.

The prosecution finished with evidence relating to the Trapeang Thma dam worksite. Calling upon journalist accounts, WRIs, and Samphan’s own memoir, prosecutor Travis Farr asserted to have demonstrated the party “centre’s knowledge of the conditions, to achieve the party’s plans totally and successfully”.

As document hearings concluded, Guisse made an unrelated objection to the court’s admission of evidence resulting from Case 003 and 004 investigations into the current Case 002/02.

“It’s a problem of being able to review the evidence in its totality” she said.

Nonn adjourned proceedings, stating the court would deliberate on the matter.

MOST VIEWED

  • Omicron patients can stay home: PM

    The Ministry of Health has issued a directive on the treatment of people who have tested positive for the highly transmissible Omicron coronavirus variant, following a suggestion from Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of January 21. The directive permits home quarantine for those who

  • Cambodia’s first ever anime festival kicks off Jan 22 at capital’s F3 centre

    Phnom Penh's first ever Anime Festival will bring together fans, artists, shops and other local businesses with ties to the Japanese animation style for cosplay competitions, online games, pop-up shops and more on January 22, with Friends Futures Factory (F3) hosting. F3 is a project that

  • Hun Sen gets 4th Covid shot, urges compatriots to follow

    Prime Minister Hun Sen and his wife Bun Rany on January 14 received their fourth dose of Covid-19 vaccine and called on compatriots to follow suit as the Omicron coronavirus variant continues to spread in the community. This marks the launch of Cambodia's fourth-dose vaccination campaign,

  • Mr Pancake or M Crepe? Tasty by any title

    Crowds of people gather around a lone man with a mobile food cart every day at around 2pm in front of the Institut Francais du Cambodge to order what many say are the best crepes in Phnom Penh. To some – even to the man making

  • Fourth dose Covid booster drive jabs 43K in two days

    In the first two days of the fourth-dose Covid-19 vaccination campaign, more than 43,000 people volunteered to get the jabs, while over 4.6 million people have received a third shot. Health ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said that fourth-dose vaccinations, which began on January 14 exclusively with the Pfizer

  • Singapore backs Cambodia's efforts on Myanmar

    Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong supports Cambodia in its efforts to seek a solution to the ongoing Myanmar crisis as the chair of ASEAN. Lee expressed his support during a meeting with Prime Minister Hun Sen via videoconference on January 14, with the talks focused