Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - KRT appeal hearings resume

KRT appeal hearings resume

Khieu Samphan follows court proceedings yesterday during the appeal hearing in Case 002/01. ECCC
Khieu Samphan follows court proceedings yesterday during the appeal hearing in Case 002/01. ECCC

KRT appeal hearings resume

The second stab at the second round of Case 002/01 appeal hearings picked up yesterday, having been rescheduled from November due to a contentious walkout by the Nuon Chea defence.

Co-appellants Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan were sentenced to life imprisonment on August 7, 2014, and have submitted 371 grounds of appeal collectively, with the first round of hearings having occurred in July of last year.

Supreme Court Chamber president Kong Srim yesterday related an email to judges from the Chea defence informing them “the defence does not intend to make any submissions or respond to any questions from the bench”, a position it had pledged to take if the court upheld a decision not to call National Assembly President Heng Samrin and filmmaker Robert Lemkin as witnesses, which it did last week.

Chea’s international counsel, Victor Koppe, who did not appear yesterday, had previously said his team also planned to not actively participate in the document hearings before the trial chamber next week.

Proceedings otherwise continued smoothly yesterday, with the morning devoted to appeals on the grounds of fair trial rights, and the afternoon devoted to the lower trial chamber’s overall approach to weighing evidence.

“The person that was the symbolic representative of Democratic Kampuchea has also turned out to be symbolic convict”, said Khieu Samphan defender Anta Guisse, echoing the Samphan defence’s long-held contention that the ex-head of state was simply a figurehead for the regime.

She went on to compare the tribunal to the post-World War II Tokyo Trials, which were criticised for not prosecuting certain individuals for political reasons, describing the approach as “cosmetic justice”, though prosecutor William Smith dismissed the characterisation as a “loose analogy”.

Prosecutor Chea Leang, for her part, launched into an apparent defence of the court’s decision not to call Heng Samrin, saying Samrin had no knowledge of the orders for the 1975 evacuation of Phnom Penh.

“Chea’s order was to kill all those [Lon Nol officials] that remain, which the evidence shows was exactly the case,” she said, going on to refute the argument that Samrin could be a character witness for Chea’s dedication to the revolution.

“How Nuon Chea’s dedication to the ultra-radical revolution would affect his convictions he does not explain,”she said.

Koppe, reacting to the decision not to call Samrin on Sunday, wrote in an email that the court “is also not interested in admitting reliable evidence that implicates members of the present government”.

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