After a one-day break to observe Child’s Day, the court resumed the hearing on Tuesday this week. The Chamber efficiently heard the impact of crimes at trial in Case 002 from Civil Parties Sophany Bay, Soeun Sovandy, Seng Sivutha and the testimonies of Witnesses Sidney Schanberg and Sok Roeur, as well as Expert Witness Chhim Sotheara. Sok Roeur was summoned as a character witness for Khieu Samphan. The Civil Parties recounted their pains and suffering they endured during the regime, while providing factual evidence in particular on what transpired in the population movements they experienced and the situation in cooperatives. Sidney Schanberg, a journalist who was present in Phnom Penh in the period before and during the evacuation of Phnom Penh until foreigners who had taken refuge at the French Embassy were expelled from Cambodia, testified to the condition of the country during the period of his stay. Chhim Sotheara, the Executive Director of Transcultural Psychosocial Organization Cambodia (TPO Cambodia,) provided his expertise as an accademician and practitioner in the field of psychiatry, as well as experience in assisting victims of Khmer Rouge. There were a few significant legal and procedural issues this week, which included the Chamber establishing that questions posed by the Civil Parties to the Accused could go beyond the scope of case 002/01. There remained to be no standard practice on to what extent witnesses could offer their opinion, enforcing the appearance that this issue stayed at the discretion of the Chamber. As to trial management, the proceedings generally went well, with the Chamber showing determination to ensure all witnesses and civil parties scheduled this week would testify as planned.
Read the Report:
KRT Trial Monitor Issue No. 62 – Hearing on Evidence Week 57 (3-7 June 2013).