Posts Tagged ‘Khieu Samphan’
28-01-2013 PHNOM PENH (The Cambodia Herald) – The Khmer Rouge tribunal said Friday it would hear new witness testimony next week following the discharge of former head of state Khieu Samphan from hospital.
A statement by the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia said the testimony on Monday had been scheduled for the whole day.
“The trial chamber will then continue to hear submissions on documents the co-prosecutors seek admitted as evidence on Wednesday 30 Jan and Thursday 31 Jan,” it said.
The statement said Nuon Chea, the former deputy to Pol Pot, had waived his right to be present during testimony.
By Sopheng Cheang,AP
PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — The Khmer Rouge carried out its policies for the sake of the Cambodian people and to protect the country from invaders, the notorious regime’s second-highest leader said Tuesday at a tribunal considering charges of crimes against humanity against three top leaders.
Nuon Chea told the U.N.-backed tribunal it was failing to consider the complete story behind the Khmer Rouge, who are accused of being responsible for the deaths of 1.7 million people when they held power in 1975-79.
He blamed neighboring Vietnam for much of the trouble that befell his country — the same belief held by the Khmer Rouge three decades ago, as its experiment in utopian socialism fell apart.
Nuon Chea, chief ideologist for the communist movement and its No. 2 behind Pol Pot, and two former comrades — 80-year-old Khieu Samphan, the ex-head of state; and 86-year-old Ieng Sary, the former foreign minister — all avow their innocence.
The charges against these surviving members of the once-mighty inner circle of the communist movement include crimes against humanity, genocide, religious persecution, homicide and torture.
The prosecution earlier Tuesday told the court Pol Pot’s close confederates cannot blame their late leader alone for the atrocities that took place. Pol Pot died in 1998 in the jungle while a prisoner of his own comrades.
Prosecutor Andrew Cayley said that like Pol Pot, the three aging former members of the regime now on trial exercised life-and-death authority over Cambodia while in power in 1975-79.
“The accused cannot credibly claim they did not know and had no control over the crimes that occurred” when the group ruled what they called Democratic Kampuchea, he said.
In opening statements delivered Monday and early Tuesday, the prosecutors described a litany of horrors, recalling how the Khmer Rouge sought to crush not just all its enemies, but seemingly the human spirit.
Most of the population were forced to work on giant rural communes and deprived of any sort of private life. Forced marriages took the place of love, and dissenters were dispatched to the so-called ‘killing fields.’
Nuon Chea, who spoke in time alloted for defense rebuttals of the prosectors’ statements, did little to directly address the allegations of atrocities.
He instead gave a political history of the Khmer Rouge and Cambodia, insisting that his role was always a patriotic one.
“I had to leave my family behind to liberate my motherland from colonialism and aggression and oppression by the thieves who wish to steal our land and whip Cambodia off the face of the earth,” he said.
He accused Vietnam of repeatedly seeking to occupy Cambodia, a charge familiar from when the fraternal socialist neighbors first fell out in the 1970s.
By Uong Ratana,PPenhPost- Former Khmer Rouge head of state Khieu Samphan listens to court proceedings on a set of headphones at the Khmer Rouge tribunal in Phnom Penh yesterday.
Lawers for civil parties outlined reparations requests yesterday at the Khmer Rouge tribunal, demanding compensation for the suffering of their clients as the court’s historic second case stretched into its third day.
Civil party participation has long been touted as a distinctive feature of the tribunal, the first international war crimes court to allow for direct victim participation. Some 3,850 civil parties are participating in Case 002, including 1,728 whose applications were originally rejected but who were accepted on appeal in a decision released last week.
Speaking towards the end of the hearing yesterday, civil party lead co-lawyer Pich Ang offered a list of proposed reparations that he said would hopefully help victims “heal their psychological wounds”.
“Those who applied to be civil parties have the intention to seek the truth and justice, and to seek reparations awards for the victims as well as for the society as a whole,” Pich Ang said.
Among the requests he listed were the construction of stupas and a memorial site, the establishment of a national day of remembrance of some kind, the preservation of crime sites for historical purposes and the establishment of a museum and archive related to Khmer Rouge history.
Pich Ang also called for the expanded teaching of Khmer Rouge history in Cambodian schools, the establishment of centres where victims can seek psychological treatment, the provision of citizenship to Vietnamese victims of the regime and an education programme for children born as a result of forced marriages during the KR period. A trust fund, he said, could be established to fund the proposed awards.
Trial Chamber president Nil Nonn noted that financial awards were not feasible given the large number of civil parties, and in any case, the court’s rules empower it to grant only “collective and moral” reparations.
Pich Ang’s foreign counterpart, civil party lead co-lawyer Elisabeth Simonneau Fort, said the reparations proposals named yesterday represented only preliminary suggestions, and that further consultation with victims and other lawyers was necessary.
“We have the possibility of modifying our request and adding, and it’s obvious that we will be obliged to do so,” Simonneau Fort said, noting the large number of civil parties that were admitted only last week.
Reparations were one of the more contentious aspects of the tribunal’s first verdict, which came last year in the case of former S-21 prison chief Kaing Guek Eav, better known as Duch.
In the Duch judgment, the court’s Trial Chamber granted a pair of reparations requests from civil parties: It printed the names of accepted civil parties in the verdict and pledged to collect and publish all statements of apology made by Duch during the proceedings.
Civil party lawyers and court monitors criticised these reparations as unimaginative and insufficient, though the judges said in their decision that they did not have the power to fund projects or make recommendations to the government.
At a plenary session in September, the court thus amended its rules to allow for more expansive reparations options that will be available to judges in Case 002. The court can now make non-binding recommendations to the government regarding reparations and design projects that can be implemented with external funding.
Sou Koeun, a Case 002 civil party from Kampong Speu province, said outside the court yesterday that he approved of the proposed awards.
“The most important for me is the memorial stupa for civil parties,” he said. “These reparations can help the victims recover from what happened a long time ago and the mental problems they have had since a long time ago.”
Also yesterday, the court heard arguments on whether the statute of limitations for crimes in the 1956 Cambodian Penal Code had expired by the start of investigations in the case.
While such crimes originally carried a 10-year statute of limitations, the 2001 law on the establishment of the tribunal extended this statute by an additional 20 years for crimes falling within the court’s jurisdiction. The 2004 amended tribunal law carried an additional 10-year extension.
Cambodian deputy prosecutor Seng Bunkheang said the original 10-year statute of limitations did not apply due to the weakness of the Cambodian court system in the years following the Khmer Rouge reign.
“Time was needed to ensure that a proper and functional judicial system could be reestablished,” he said.
But Michael Karnavas, a defence lawyer for former Khmer Rouge foreign minister Ieng Sary, said the extension of the statute of limitations represented an unjustified, retroactive alteration of the law. Trials were indeed conducted during the 1980s, however imperfectly, he added.
“Was it a perfect situation? No. But if you pick up the newspapers and you read the reports on Cambodia today, you hear the same refrain – political interference, lack of independence and so on,” he said.
Sa Sovan, a lawyer for former KR head of state Khieu Samphan, echoed the Ieng Sary team in arguing against the retroactive altering of the statute, though he acknowledged finding portions of the discussion inscrutable.
“Sometimes the words used here are so technical and sometimes it is hard for me to follow and to understand,” he said.
In the Duch judgment, the judges were divided on whether the statute of limitations for crimes outlawed in the 1956 Penal Code had expired, and thus ruled only on the basis of international law.
Ieng Sary left the hearing yesterday morning due to back pain, while KR Brother Number 2 Nuon Chea walked out for the third day in a row as his own case was not being considered. The other defendants, Khieu Samphan and Ieng Sary’s wife, former KR social action minister Ieng Thirith, stayed for the duration.
After running behind schedule earlier this week, the tribunal is set to conclude this round of initial hearings today with a discussion of proposed witnesses. Hearings involving evidence and witness testimony are not expected until August or September.
AFP—A top ex-Khmer Rouge leader on trial for genocide on Thursday vowed to cooperate with Cambodia’s UN-backed war crimes court to reveal the truth about the country’s “Killing Fields” era.
Former Khmer Rouge leader head of state Khieu Samphan sits in the courtroom at the ECCC in Phnom Penh. Khieu Samphan on Thursday vowed to cooperate with Cambodia’s UN-backed war crimes court to reveal the truth about the country’s “Killing Fields” era.
“I personally am not fully knowledgeable about everything, but I will try from the bottom of my heart to make sure that everything is fully revealed,” said Khieu Samphan, the former head of state of the brutal regime.
“This is the most important moment for me and for my compatriots who are eager to know and understand what happened between 1975 and 1979.”
Along with “Brother Number Two” Nuon Chea, ex-foreign minister Ieng Sary and his wife, one-time social affairs minister Ieng Thirith, Khieu Samphan faces charges including genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.
The elderly defendants are the most senior surviving members of a regime whose reign of terror led to the deaths of up to two million people from starvation, overwork or execution. The four deny the accusations against them.
As their trial entered its fourth day with a debate about witness and expert lists, the defence complained that the court had failed to admit many of their proposed witnesses.
Khieu Samphan, dressed casually and reading a brief prepared statement, urged judges to accept his key witnesses “in order to have a fair trial and so that the truth and my honesty and fairness can be revealed”.
The 79-year-old also paid his respects to the hundreds of Cambodians, including many monks, who packed the court’s public gallery, and acknowledged them with a traditional greeting — the first suspect to do so.
The public face of the Khmer Rouge, Khieu Samphan has never denied the horrors suffered by the Cambodian people.
But he claims he was an intellectual and a nationalist and knew little, until long afterwards, of the devastation that was wrought under the regime.
Led by “Brother Number One” Pol Pot, who died in 1998, the movement emptied Cambodia’s cities and abolished money and schools in a bid to create an agrarian utopia before they were ousted from the capital by Vietnamese forces.
The initial hearing is set to conclude on Thursday, with full testimony to follow in the coming months.
Reuters—PHNOM PENH - A United Nations-backed court trying the masterminds of Cambodia’s bloody Khmer Rouge ‘Killing Fields’ revolution is embroiled in a conflict of its own as it prepares to hear its most complex and high-profile case next week.
The multi-million dollar court is mired in infighting and deep suspicion over the apparent reluctance of top judges to indict more suspects beyond the five former Khmer Rouge cadres already brought to trial by the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC).
At least five foreign staff have resigned following the hybrid UN-Cambodian tribunal’s June 7 decision to reject a third case, known as 003, despite what international co-prosecutors say is strong evidence of atrocities by two suspects.
It comes as the court opens its next case involving ‘Brother Number Two’ Nuon Chea, former President Khieu Samphan, ex-Foreign Minister Ieng Sary and his wife, Ieng Thirith, a former Social Affairs minister, who are accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity, among other charges.
An estimated 1.7 million people died during the Khmer Rouge’s 1975 to 1979 ultra-Maoist revolution that wiped out a quarter of Cambodia’s population through execution, disease, starvation or overwork under the leadership of top commander Pol Pot, known as ‘Brother Number One’, who died in 1998.
The court has so far spent US$100 million (S$123.5 million) and delivered just one ruling since it was inaugurated five years ago, handing down a 35-year jail term, reduced to 19 years, to Kaing Guek Eav, better known as Duch, who was found guilty last year of war crimes and crimes against humanity while chief of Phnom Penh’s S-21 torture centre, where more than 14,000 people died.
25/3/2010 (AP)—PHNOM PENH (Cambodia) – An official with a UN-backed genocide tribunal says the Khmer Rouge’s former head of state has returned to detention after being hospitalized for about 10 days.
Tribunal spokesman Lars Olsen says that 78-year-old Khieu Samphan was admitted March 14 after catching a cold. He was released from the hospital on Thursday.
He is charged with crimes against humanity, war crimes, murder, torture and genocide for the regime’s reign of terror in Cambodia in the mid-1970s.
He and three other defendants are expected to be brought to trial by the end of this year or early next year.
But many fear the former leaders, all of them aging, may die before the drawn-out legal proceedings are completed.