The AIJI monitoring program, a joint initiative of the East-West Center and the WSD HANDA Center for Human Rights and International Justice at Stanford University, has written and published “A Well-Reasoned Opinion? Critical Analysis of the First Case Against the Alleged Senior Leaders of the Khmer Rouge”, a final, comprehensive report on the trial of Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan in Case 002/01.  This report — written by AIJI’s Dr. David Cohen, Melanie Hyde, and Penelope Van Tuyl, with the support of Stephanie Fung — builds on the work of many individuals who consistently monitored and reported on each day of trial proceedings and events prior to the trial’s commencement in 2011.

c002_01 report

On 7 August 2014, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) reached an important institutional milestone when the Court published its long-awaited Trial Judgment in the first case against two of the surviving alleged senior leaders of the Khmer Rouge—Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan (“Case 002/01”). The Court found both men guilty of crimes against humanity, and sentenced them each to life imprisonment, while awarding “moral and collective reparations” to the 3,869 Civil Parties participating in the trial. Despite hopes that the five-year process of judicial investigation, trial, deliberation, and Judgment-drafting would produce a rigorous and insightful final product, in reality, as this report argues, the Case 002/01 Judgment fails to deliver the most fundamental output one expects from a criminal trial—systematic application of the elements of crimes to a well-documented body of factual findings. Based, in part, on insight gained from the continuous presence of a team of trial monitors throughout trial, this report provides commentary on how a contentious and confusing trial process in Case 002/01 ultimately produced a similarly problematic final Judgment.

For the full 98-page report, see here.

Posted by: AIJI Trial Monitor | November 5, 2015

KRT Trial Monitor Case 002/02 — Issue 34 (26-28 October 2015)

This week, the Trial Chamber reconvened after two weeks of adjournment for both the Pchum Ben holiday and an additional recess to allow the Bench to consider ongoing procedural issues. The Chamber was first scheduled to hear the testimony of Witness 2-TCW-996, a witness stemming from the Case 004 investigation and requested by Nuon Chea in relation to the Trapeang Thma Dam worksite, however, after the Chamber’s recent memorandum on the use of evidence from Cases 003 and 004, the Chamber decided to hear this witness entirely in closed session.  Summaries of this Witness’ testimony will be included in a future report once redacted transcripts of the closed proceedings become available.  On Tuesday afternoon, the Chamber commenced hearing the first witness in a new segment of the trial covering the treatment of the ethnic Vietnamese minority, relating to charges of genocide and crimes against humanity encompassing deportation, extermination, murder, and persecution on racial grounds.  This witness, Mr. Sean Sung, primarily provided testimony about his observations of a massacre of ethnic Vietnamese people in Chi Kraeng District, Siem Reap Province in 1978. In addition, he recalled seeing the execution of the only Vietnamese woman from his mobile unit, who he said was killed and disemboweled. As other witnesses scheduled to appear later this week were unavailable, Sean Sung was the only witness to be heard in open court this week. In response to Defense requests for extra time to prepare for the 16-18 November appeals hearings before the Supreme Court Chamber in Case 002/01, the Trial Chamber adjourned Case 002/02 hearings from this Wednesday until 30 November.

KRT Trial Monitor No. 34 — Hearings on Evidence Week 31 (26-28 October 2015)

English — Khmer (Summary)

Posted by: AIJI Trial Monitor | October 30, 2015

KRT Trial Monitor Case 002/02 — Issue 33 (5-7 October 2015)

This week, the Trial Chamber heard the testimony of Witness Ban Siek over the course of two days. Although he appeared in the midst of a segment on the treatment of the Cham, the Witness was also questioned on other topics, including the purges of Central (and “Old North”) Zone cadres in 1977 and of East Zone cadres in 1978.  The Witness denied that the Cham were particularly targeted during the Democratic Kampuchea (DK) period, stating that everyone had been “in the same boat.” Ban Siek testified that he was relocated to the Central Zone’s Chamkar Leu District in 1977 to take the position of deputy secretary, under District secretary Sou Soeun, a position she had previously denied holding during her own testimony before the Trial Chamber.  Much of Ban Siek’s testimony therefore related to the testimony of Sou Soeun, a blood relative of his wife and the wife of former Central Zone secretary Ke Pauk. Late on Tuesday afternoon, the Chamber prepared to hear testimony from a Cham witness, Mr. Sos Romly (2-TCW-904), however, the Nuon Chea Defense Team objected to the use of the same duty counsel, Mr. Duch Phary, for the testimony of both Ban Siek and Sos Romly. As no other duty counsel was available at short notice, the Trial Chamber adjourned early and announced on Wednesday that it would delay hearing testimony from Sos Romly as well as the reserve witness, 2-TCW-996, until after the Pchum Ben holiday recess.

KRT Trial Monitor No. 33 — Hearings on Evidence Week 30 (5-7 October 2015)

English — Khmer (Summary)

Posted by: AIJI Trial Monitor | October 9, 2015

KRT Trial Monitor Case 002/02 — Issue 32 (28-30 September 2015)

This week, the Trial Chamber resumed hearing testimony on the treatment of the ethnic Cham minority after a one-week recess. Over the course of this week, the Chamber heard from two Cham Civil Parties, followed by one witness regarding the Trapeang Thma Dam worksite (TTD). On 28 September, Civil Party Him Man concluded the testimony he began two weeks ago regarding his treatment as a Cham person in Sach Sau village and his knowledge of the rebellion in Koh Phal. In the afternoon and throughout the following day, a second Cham Civil Party, No Satas, testified about another Cham rebellion in Svay Khleang, Krouch Chhmar District. On Tuesday afternoon, Witness Sot Sophal, who had been unable to testify on his originally scheduled date due to poor health, provided testimony about the TTD. A number of legal issues dominated the late Wednesday afternoon session, particularly the recurring issue of Case 004 documents entering Case 002/02, as well as how best to manage the upcoming appearance of Expert Witness Ysa Osman. As Witness 2-TCW-928 was unwell and unable to testify, the Chamber only sat for three days this week.

KRT Trial Monitor No. 32 — Hearings on Evidence Week 29 (28-30 September 2015)

English — Khmer (Summary)

Posted by: AIJI Trial Monitor | October 8, 2015

KRT Trial Monitor Case 002/02 — Issue 31 (14-17 September 2015)

The Trial Chamber continued with the new trial segment on the treatment of the Cham minority this week with the testimony of four persons in relation to the group’s targeting in Kang Meas District, Kampong Cham Province. This subject differed from the events at Krouch Chhmar District, discussed in the previous week, and much of the testimony revolved around the massacre of Cham at Wat Au Trakuon pagoda, which was turned into a security center under the Khmer Rouge. The Witnesses and Civil Parties also made reference to the Long Sword Group, which was organized to manage security only after the Southwest Zone forces’ takeover of the area in early 1977. This week, the Parties also raised a number of objections related to document admissibility, the characterization of witness testimony, the scope of trial, and the use of repetitious, leading, and speculative questions. The Trial Chamber nonetheless managed to effectively move forward with proceedings by hearing so much testimony in four days this week.

KRT Trial Monitor No. 31 — Hearings on Evidence Week 28 (14-17 September 2015)

English — Khmer (Summary)

Posted by: AIJI Trial Monitor | September 30, 2015

KRT Trial Monitor Case 002/02 — Issue 30 (7-10 September 2015)

From 7 to 10 September 2015, the Trial Chamber commenced a new segment of the proceedings in Case 002/02 with testimony from two witnesses and a Civil Party. This next segment of trial, which covers the treatment of targeted groups and begins with the treatment of the Cham, relates to charges of genocide and the crimes against humanity of extermination, imprisonment, murder, torture, and persecution on political and religious grounds.  Witnesses Ith Sen and Seng Khuy, as well as Civil Party Sos Ponyamin, testified about the curtailment of Cham language, clothing, and religious practice, and they provided information about the security centers across present-day Kampong Cham Province where they witnessed the detention and execution of large numbers of Chams.  Before any testimony this week, however, Counsel for Khieu Samphan, Anta Guissé, replied to the OCP and Civil Parties’ documentary presentations from the previous week. Summaries of her response, as well as the three testimonies this week, are included in the following report.

KRT Trial Monitor No. 30 — Hearings on Evidence Week 27 (7-10 September 2015)

EnglishKhmer (Summary)

Posted by: AIJI Trial Monitor | September 30, 2015

KRT Trial Monitor Case 002/02 — Issue 29 (1-3 September 2015)

Given the delay caused by the Defense’s withdrawal from the documentary hearings last week, the Trial Chamber rescheduled hearings this week to continue efficiently with proceedings in Case 002/02. It first held two days of victim impact hearings for the segment on DK worksites, and then allocated hearing days later in the week for continuation of key document presentations. Four Civil Parties appeared before the Chamber to describe the harms they suffered from maltreatment at the worksites for the First January Dam (1JD) and Trapeang Thma Dam (TTD). Following the victim impact hearings, the Trial Chamber proceeded with the OCP and Civil Parties’ continued documentary presentations in relation to the three worksites. As a protest against the Court’s decision to broadly permit inclusion of Written Records of Investigation (WRIs) from Case 003 and 004 in the key documents hearing, the Defense Teams opted not to participate, so proceedings adjourned at the end of Thursday. Related to this, the Court officially warned Victor Koppe, Nuon Chea’s Defense Counsel, for misconduct in withdrawing abruptly from last week’s hearing. Separately, Khieu Samphan’s Defense Team objected to the appearance of an upcoming witness, 2-TCW-987, for the next trial segment, on the treatment of the Cham Muslim minority.

KRT Trial Monitor No. 29 — Hearings on Evidence Week 26 (1-3 September 2015)

EnglishKhmer (Summary)

Posted by: AIJI Trial Monitor | September 30, 2015

KRT Trial Monitor C002/02 — Issue 28 (24-27 August 2015)

This week marked the final week of testimony in relation to Trapeang Thma Dam (TTD), the last crime site included in the trial segment on worksites in Case 002/02. Following the testimonies of a witness and a Civil Party, the Chamber commenced the key documentary hearings for the segment on the three worksites covered in the case, the First January Dam (1JD), Kampong Chhnang Airport Construction (KCA) and TTD. Witness Chhuy Huy testified about his experiences at TTD, including the treatment of sick workers, his arranged marriage by “Angkar” in a group wedding ceremony, and an arrest and possible execution. Civil Party Nhip Horl also described his experiences as a mobile unit chief at TTD, and he recalled worksite meetings and a visit of a foreign delegation. On Wednesday the 26th of August, the OCP began its presentation on key documents related to the 1JD, but proceedings abruptly ended after legal objections to the presentation of written records of interviews (WRIs) as key documents led to the Defense Teams’ spontaneous withdrawal from the courtroom. The following morning, the Parties extensively discussed the events of the day before, including statements from Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan in support of their counsels’ walkout. This report summarizes the two testimonies, as well as the brief portion of the OCP’s key documents presentation, and it analyzes the legal and procedural issues in relation to the Defense walkout.

KRT Trial Monitor No. 28 – Hearings on Evidence Week 25 (24-27 August 2015)

English — Khmer (Summary)

Posted by: AIJI Trial Monitor | September 2, 2015

KRT Trial Monitor C002/02 — Issue 27 (17-20 August 2015)

This week, the Trial Chamber continued the trial segment on the Trapeang Thma Dam worksite (TTD) with testimony from four witnesses over four days of proceedings. Mr. Chet Yourk’s testimony continued from last week and concluded on the morning of 17 August. The Trial Chamber then heard the testimonies of Mr. Chhum Seng, Mr. Tak Boy, and Ms. Yi Laisov, who worked as a company chief, platoon chief, and guard, respectively, at TTD. Thus, most of the Parties’ questioning this week focused on the leadership at TTD and the Witnesses’ knowledge of arrests, disappearances, and executions. Questioning related to the treatment of former Lon Nol servicemen spurred objections on the scope of Case 002/02 and arguments concerning whether the Chamber’s prior ruling intended to include TTD as a crime site related to the alleged targeting of former soldiers. The Court also considered Tak Boy’s status as a Civil Party in Case 004 and discrepancies in Witness Yi Laisov’s testimony due to her memory problems.

KRT Trial Monitor No. 27 – Hearings on Evidence Week 24 (17-20 August 2015)

EnglishKhmer (Summary)

Posted by: AIJI Trial Monitor | August 21, 2015

KRT Trial Monitor C002/02 — Issue 26 (10-13 August 2015)

Following a week without hearings, the Trial Chamber heard the testimony of three witnesses regarding their experiences at the Trapeang Thma Dam worksite (TTD). All three witnesses, Kan Thol, Lot Suoy, and Chet Yourk, detailed the working and living conditions at the site, including the work quotas, health and sanitary conditions, food distribution, marriages, arrests, disappearances, and executions. Following a submission from the Civil Parties, the Parties again debated the legal and procedural issues involved in the disclosure and admission of new evidence from the investigations in Cases 003 and 004. Separately, the Defense raised objections regarding the scope of the trial. The following report provides analysis of these legal issues, summary of the three witness testimonies, and details of the trial’s management this week.

KRT Trial Monitor No. 26 – Hearings on Evidence Week 23 (10-13 August 2015)

EnglishKhmer (Summary)

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