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)