The evidentiary hearings in Case 002/02 proceeded into their third week as the Trial Chamber completed the testimony of the first two Civil Parties to testify in the trial, Oum Suphany, who was questioned heavily about prior accounts of the DK era in her published books, and Chou Koemlân, who testified that she had personally seen the Co-Accused visiting a Tram Kak District worksite in 1977. The Court also began to hear from a non-Civil Party witness, Cheang Srei Mom, on her experiences in a forced marriage arranged by Khmer Rouge cadres in her rural cooperative. The prosecutors and Civil Party lawyers sought to utilize the three testimonies to depict the harsh life and total control by the authorities within Democratic Kampuchea’s “model” Tram Kak District. Defense counsel attempted to rebut the allegations by undermining key details of the Witness and Civil Parties’ statements. The lines of questioning presented by Mr. Victor Koppe, Nuon Chea’s international Co-Lawyer, probed deeper than the other Defense Counsel, as he challenged even the most personal details of the Civil Parties’ stated experiences, including one woman’s inability to feed her dying child, and another’s claims to have been forcibly married. Mr. Koppe’s tactics in his examination of the Civil Parties and Witness prompted multiple objections from the OCP and Civil Party lawyers, and disagreements required the judges to intervene on a number of occasions. This report analyzes those legal and procedural issues, summarizes the week’s testimonies, and reviews the Chamber’s ongoing management of the trial proceedings.
Read the report:
KRT Trial Monitor No. 6 – Hearings on Evidence Week 3 (26-29 January 2015) corresponds with Facing Justice Episode 52.