Posted by: AIJI Trial Monitor | July 21, 2015

KRT Trial Monitor C002/01 Appeals — Issue 1 (2-6 July 2015)

In the first set of appeal hearings since the Trial Chamber issued its Judgment in Case 002/01 on 7 August 2014, the Supreme Court Chamber heard the testimonies of three new witnesses. The Trial Chamber found the Co-Accused, Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan, guilty of crimes against humanity comprising murder, inhumane acts, forced transfers, forced disappearances, attacks on human dignity, in the territory of Cambodia between 17 April 1975 and the end of 1977.  The Trial Chamber sentenced the two Accused to life imprisonment. The Defense Teams filed their appeal briefs against the Trial Chamber’s Judgment on 29 December 2014, and Nuon Chea has also filed five separate requests for additional evidence in the appellate stage of proceedings. Nuon Chea raised 223 grounds of appeal and Khieu Samphan raised 148 grounds of appeal, covering alleged errors in both law and in fact.  The Co-Prosecutors filed a shorter appeal, which deals only with an alleged error in law related to the Chamber’s decision not to apply the most extended form of joint criminal enterprise, also known as “JCE III”, as a mode of criminal liability.

The Defense Appeals requested inter alia that the Supreme Court Chamber summon a number of new witnesses, three of whom the Chamber decided to hear in its 29 May 2015 decision on part of Nuon Chea’s requests for additional evidence.  The Supreme Court Chamber scheduled a first set of initial hearings from 2 to 6 July 2015 as the commencement of the Parties’ appeals in Case 002/01, but the Chamber specifically tailored the hearings to only examine the three witnesses called to appear. The three witnesses provided testimony over three days of hearings largely related to elements of the Judgment that found evidence of CPK policies to target former Khmer Republic soldiers and officials following the liberation in April 1975. The first witness, Sao Van (SCW-4), was called to discuss meetings in which he and other Khmer Rouge cadres were ordered not to harm Lon Nol soldiers. The Trial Chamber had relied upon the written record of an interview of the week’s second witness, Sam Sithy (SCW-3), in its Judgment concerning his survival of a massacre of Lon Nol soldiers and their families, but the Supreme Court Chamber decided to hear his testimony in person. Nuon Chea’s Defense described the third witness to appear, Toat Thoeun (SCW-5), as a key witness with insight into the factional nature of the CPK hierarchy due to his close relationship with former Northwest Zone secretary Ruos Nhim. Throughout the three days of witness examination, the Parties attempted to advance many of the legal arguments presented throughout Cases 002/01 and 002/02, most notably at the October 2013 closing hearings of Case 002/01.  As noted in this report’s legal section, although the Parties made a significant number of objections that altered the predetermined schedule somewhat, the Judges effectively managed to curtail discussion of elements outside the scope of the appeals and Case 002/01, and successfully drew a number of new details from the examination of these three witnesses. The following report presents the procedural background of the appeal hearings, summarizes the week’s witness testimonies, and analyzes the objections, which signaled debates that are likely to reappear throughout the appellate stage of proceedings in Case 002/01.

KRT Trial Monitor Case 002/01 Appeals No. 1 – First Set of Appeal Hearings (2-6 July 2015)

EnglishKhmer (Summary)

Posted by: AIJI Trial Monitor | July 2, 2015

KRT Trial Monitor C002/02 — Issue 24 (22-25 June 2015)

In the final week before the Trial Chamber adjourned for a month-long mid-year judicial recess, it successfully completed the testimonies of three witnesses and one Civil Party. Two witnesses and the Civil Party discussed their positions within the Khmer Rouge military and their subsequent assignments to work at the Kampong Chhnang Airport construction site (KCA). The fourth witness was the final witness to testify in the trial segment on the First January Dam worksite, and she also provided details of her forced marriage in 1977 to a husband selected by her unit chief. Although there is at least one more witness remaining in the segment on the Airport construction site, the Trial Chamber plans to begin the next trial segment, on the Trapeang Thma Dam worksite in the Northwest Zone, when it returns on 27 July 2015 from the judicial recess. This week also marked the ninth week in Case 002/02 in which the issue of torture-tainted evidence was raised, with the OCP’s attempt to read an S-21 confession during questioning. The consistent recurrence of this matter, as well as the gravity of the legal questions behind it, should spur the Chamber to issue its long-awaited decision on the subject.

KRT Trial Monitor No. 24 – Hearings on Evidence Week 21 (22-25 June 2015)

EnglishKhmer (Summary)

Posted by: AIJI Trial Monitor | June 25, 2015

KRT Trial Monitor C002/02 — Issue 23 (15-17 June 2015)

Despite two public holidays this week, the Trial Chamber managed to complete the testimony of two witnesses and a Civil Party, and also commence that of a third witness over three days of proceedings. Mr. Keo Leou, Ms. Kong Siek, and Mr. Sem Hoeurn were all members of the Revolutionary Army of Kampuchea, and they testified both on the purges of North Zone cadres from the Army Divisions and their eventual assignment to the Kampong Chhnang Airport Construction site (KCA). On Tuesday and Wednesday this week, the Trial Chamber revisited the earlier trial segment on the First January Dam worksite in Kampong Thom Province in order to hear testimony from Witness Yean Lun, who worked as a laborer and a militiaman at the site. Judge Jean-Marc Lavergne intervened twice this week during the examinations of Mr. Keo Leou and Ms. Kong Siek when Nuon Chea’s Defense Counsel asked specific questions without referencing documents in support of the assertions made. The Judge reminded Counsel not to use evidence that may have been obtained under torture, but the issue returned and remains contentious as the Parties await the Trial Chamber’s long awaited ruling on the matter.

KRT Trial Monitor No. 23 – Hearings on Evidence Week 20 (15-17 June 2015)

EnglishKhmer (Summary)

Posted by: AIJI Trial Monitor | June 18, 2015

KRT Trial Monitor C002/02 — Issue 22 (9-12 June 2015)

This week, the Trial Chamber commenced the next segment of the proceedings in Case 002/02 with testimony from three witnesses on the Kampong Chhnang Airport Construction site (KCA). This trial segment covers the second of three worksites to be discussed in the trial, and it relates to charges of crimes against humanity of enslavement, extermination, murder, and persecution on political grounds, as well as other inhumane acts, through “attacks against human dignity,” enforced disappearances, and forced marriage.  The KCA was located in DK’s Central Zone under the alleged oversight of the DK Air Force, also known as Division 502. All three witnesses who testified this week were originally members of the Khmer Rouge military who were later transferred to work at the KCA in different capacities. Mr. Chan Mân, Mr. Keo Kin, and Mr. Keo Leou all spoke about their background, their experiences at the worksite, and their knowledge of DK military structures. Parties raised only a few minor objections during this week’s proceedings, but monitors noted some issues with the Chamber’s time management, and a Judge reprimanded Defense Counsel for problematic questioning of a Witness.

KRT Trial Monitor No. 22 – Hearings on Evidence Week 19 (9-12 June 2015)

EnglishKhmer (Summary)

Posted by: AIJI Trial Monitor | June 12, 2015

KRT Trial Monitor C002/02 — Issue 21 (2-5 June 2015)

Over four days of hearings this week, the Trial Chamber heard the testimony of two witnesses and a Civil Party on their knowledge of and experiences at the First January Dam worksite in present-day Kampong Thom Province. Civil Party Seang Sovida discussed her living conditions as an 11-year-old working in a mobile unit at the Dam worksite for three months, and she spoke of her suffering since the loss of her parents and siblings under the DK regime. Witness Uth Seng discussed his experiences working at the site as a teenager, and he provided greater detail into the security arrangements at the Dam. Witness Sou Soeun, a former cadre, discussed her position and that of her husband, former Central Zone Secretary Ke Pauk, in the DK era. The Trial Chamber also dealt with a number of objections concerning the scope of the trial segment, as well as proper questioning practices. It also announced scheduling changes as a result of new evidentiary disclosures coming from Case 003. In addition to covering these topics, this report also notes a number of mistranslations that negatively impacted the Parties and the Witnesses’ understanding of the ongoing proceedings.

KRT Trial Monitor No. 21 – Hearings on Evidence Week 18 (2-5 June 2015)

EnglishKhmer (Summary)

Posted by: AIJI Trial Monitor | June 9, 2015

Updates on the Appeals of the Case 002/01 Judgment

In recent weeks, the ECCC’s Supreme Court Chamber (SCC) has made a series of announcements regarding the appeals against the Trial Chamber’s Judgment in Case 002/01. Some of its actions have come in response to three requests made by the Nuon Chea Defense Team for the SCC to obtain and consider additional evidence and hear additional witnesses in the appellate proceedings.

On 1 April 2015, the SCC decided to investigate if footage from a movie made by Thet Sambath and Robert Lemkin was available and relevant to the alleged murder of Lon Nol officials at Tuol Po Chrey, events for which the Trial Chamber found the Co-Accused criminally responsible. The SCC assigned two judges (national Judge MONG Monichariya and international Judge Chandra Nihal JAYASINGHE) as delegates to conduct this investigation and work with the Witness unit to contact Mr. Thet and Mr. Lemkin. This decision (F2/4/3) is found here and the redacted transcript of the two Judges’ 18 May 2015 interview of Robert Lemkin (F2/4/3/1) is here.

On 29 May 2015, the SCC decided to call three other witnesses requested by the Nuon Chea Defense to testify in appeal hearings. These witnesses have been given the pseudonyms SCW-3, SCW-4, and SCW-5. The SCC remains seized of Nuon Chea’s request for calling other witnesses, including THET Sambath, Robert LEMKIN, current National Assembly President and CPP President HENG Samrin, current CPP Senator OUK Bunchhoen, and two more pseudonymed witnesses, SCW-1, and SCW-2. The SCC will rule on these witnesses’ appearances at a later date. Read more about the decision (F2/5) and the specific reasons for calling these three Witnesses here.

On 2 June 2015, the SCC ordered the hearing of SCW-3, SCW-4, and SCW-5 to be scheduled for Thursday, 2 July 2015 through Monday 6 July 2015, with Tuesday, 7 July 2015 noted as a reserve day, as proceedings require. The Chamber will also hear the report of the delegate judges who were assigned to investigate the evidence of Thet Sambath and Robert Lemkin. See that order (F24) here and read the Public Affairs Section’s notification about registration and accreditation for public attendance of the first SCC appeal hearings in Case 002/01 here.

The SCC is expected to organize appellate hearings for the Parties to make oral arguments in due course. In the meantime, Judge KONG Srim, the President of the Chamber, today appointed three sets of Co-Rapporteurs among the SCC Judges to focus on specific aspects of the appeals of the two defense teams and the OCP. Read about those appointments in the order (F25) here.

 Annex of Key Documents Related to Appellate Stage of Case 002/01:

Posted by: AIJI Trial Monitor | June 5, 2015

KRT Trial Monitor C002/02 — Issue 20 (25-28 May 2015)

The Trial Chamber this week continued to hear testimony regarding the experiences of workers at the First January Dam construction site in Baray District, Kampong Thom Province. One witness and two Civil Parties appeared to testify on their experiences at the Dam. Ms. Meas Layhou, Ms. Hun Sothany, and Ms. Un Ron all spoke about the poor living conditions and burdensome working regimen at the site. They discussed their fear and suffering at the time, and they also provided examples of maltreatment by the Khmer Rouge authorities as they sought out “enemies” of the regime. The Chamber also provided the Parties with the opportunity to make oral arguments on the proper use of evidence obtained under torture. It also announced a ruling on the inclusion of the Khmer Krom as a targeted group in the allegations in Case 002/02. These legal questions, as well as the week’s three testimonies, are summarized and discussed in the following report.

KRT Trial Monitor No. 20 – Hearings on Evidence Week 17 (25-28 May 2015)

EnglishKhmer (Summary)

Posted by: AIJI Trial Monitor | May 28, 2015

KRT Trial Monitor C002/02 — Issue 19 (18-21 May 2015)

From 18 to 21 May 2015, the Trial Chamber completed the testimony of the last witness to testify in relation to Kraing Ta Chan Security Center (KTC), and it commenced the next segment of the proceedings in Case 002/02.  The next segment, which covers the First January Dam Worksite in present-day Kampong Thom Province, relates to charges of crimes against humanity of enslavement, extermination, murder, and persecution on political and religious grounds, as well as other inhumane acts, through “attacks against human dignity,” enforced disappearances, and forced marriage.  On Monday, Witness Vorng Sarun testified about her arrest and detention at KTC Security Center.  From Tuesday to Thursday, Or Ho and Pech Sokha testified about their personal experiences living and working at the First January Dam Worksite.  After several weeks of heated debate over the use of torture-tainted evidence in the proceedings, the Trial Chamber announced that it would hear oral arguments from all Parties on Monday 25 May, next week, and will subsequently issue a written decision on the matter.

KRT Trial Monitor No. 19 – Hearings on Evidence Week 16 (18-21 May 2015)

EnglishKhmer (Summary)

Posted by: AIJI Trial Monitor | May 14, 2015

KRT Trial Monitor C002/02 – Issue 18 (4-8 May 2015)

From 4 to 8 May 2015, the Trial Chamber effectively completed the testimonies of two witnesses via video link to Battambang province, as they were unable to travel to the ECCC due to their advanced age and health conditions. For the third week in a row, Nuon Chea’s Defense Counsel again sought to use the torture-tainted confession of a DK cadre during witness examination, despite having been repeatedly rebuffed by the Chamber on previous such attempts. This prompted the Co-Prosecutor to request oral hearings before the Trial Chamber on this matter. The first witness heard this week, Ms. Khoem Boeun, alias Yeay Boeun, was the DK chief of Cheang Tong Commune, in Tram Kak District, and other witnesses have identified her as the final chief of the District before the fall of the regime in 1979. Her testimony covered her knowledge of Tram Kak administrative structure, DK policies to “clean up enemies” and regulate marriage, and her oversight of living and work conditions. The second witness, Mr. Aek Hoeun, was a former cadre who worked at the District office in Tram Kak. He detailed his knowledge of DK administrative structures in Tram Kak as well as arrests and executions, which he testified were overseen by the District. He also spoke about the people’s living conditions, forced marriage, and the targeting of former Lon Nol soldiers and ethnic Vietnamese people.

KRT Trial Monitor No. 18 – Hearings on Evidence Week 15 (4-8 May 2015)

EnglishKhmer (Summary)

Posted by: AIJI Trial Monitor | May 7, 2015

KRT Trial Monitor C002/02 – Issue 17 (27-30 April 2015)

As the first segment of the trial in Case 002/02 nears its end, the Trial Chamber held documentary hearings on evidence concerning Tram Kak District cooperatives and Kraing Ta Chan Security Center. The Chamber assigned a total of two days to all of the Parties to present key documents within this scope, and it provided a third day for the Parties to make official comments on the other presentations. The OCP provided documents on the living and working conditions in rural cooperatives, the arrests and interrogations in Tram Kak District, the treatment of targeted groups there, and the DK authority structures. The Civil Party lawyers used the occasion to read out five applications from Civil Parties who would not have the opportunity to testify themselves. The Nuon Chea Defense used documents to illustrate arguments that the Khmer Rouge used re-education rather than punishment, that there were in fact no distinctions between ethnic or socioeconomic groups, and that interrogation and torture were used relatively rarely. Khieu Samphan’s Defense team was interrupted as the presentation went beyond the scope of the first trial segment. Those events, as well as a renewed debate over the use of torture-tainted evidence, constitute the primary legal and procedural issues to arise in the courtroom this week, as described herein.

KRT Trial Monitor No. 17 – Hearings on Evidence Week 14 (27-30 April 2015)

EnglishKhmer (Summary)

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