The Trial Chamber moved through proceedings swiftly this week, marking the first time a week was devoted entirely to testimony about the treatment of the ethnic Vietnamese during the DK period. Over the course of four days, the Chamber heard evidence from a total of five individuals, keeping strictly to time in an apparent effort to maintain efficiency in the lead up to the Christmas break. Mrs. Sao Sak was the first Witness to appear on Monday, concluding her testimony from last week about the treatment of the Vietnamese in Anlong Trea Village. Next the Chamber heard from Civil Party Choeung Yaing Chaet, who testified to surviving the mass killing of his family at the age of 13 and fleeing by boat to Vietnam. Next, Witness Prum Sarun recounted his experiences as a former Lon Nol soldier during the Democratic Kampuchea (DK) period, and his memory of coming across a mass grave at Tuol Tatrong. Witness Oum Son began his testimony on Wednesday and gave evidence related to previous Witness Sean Sung’s testimony about a mass execution at Khsach Pagoda in Sangvaeuy Village, particularly the execution of Chantha, an unmarried Vietnamese woman from that village. After adjourning on Thursday to mark International Human Rights Day, the Chamber took the unusual step of holding hearings on Friday, 11 December, at which point Oum Son completed his testimony and Ong Sam Ian testified about the disappearance of ethnic Vietnamese people from her native village in Svay Rieng Province. No major legal or procedural issues held up proceedings this week, however the Defense Teams, particularly that of Nuon Chea, made a number of small objections and on several occasions expressed doubt about the veracity of the testimony they were hearing.
KRT Trial Monitor No. 36 – Hearings on Week 33 (7-11 December 2015)