This week the Supreme Court Chamber (SCC) convened for the first time in 2016 to preside over a second round of hearings of Parties’ appeals against the Judgment in Case 002/01, issued on 7 August 2014. In the Judgment the Trial Chamber found Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan guilty of crimes against humanity comprising murder, inhumane acts, forced transfers, forced disappearances and attacks on human dignity in the territory of Cambodia between 17 April 1975 and the end 1977. Both men were sentenced to life in prison. Each Defense Team is appealing the Trial Chamber’s decision, covering a total of 370 grounds based on errors in both fact and law. The Office of the Co-Prosecutors (OCP) has also appealed the Judgment, claiming the Chamber erred in law by not applying the extended form of joint criminal enterprise (JCE) when assessing the guilt of the Accused.
A first round of appeal hearings was held in July 2015. This week’s hearings were originally scheduled to take place in November 2015, however had to be delayed after the Defense Team for Nuon Chea boycotted proceedings. Nuon Chea’s national co-lawyer was present in the courtroom this week, thereby allowing proceedings to continue, however the Nuon Chea Defense maintained the position they announced in court last November that they would not “participate in these proceedings any further and not … respond to any kind of questions,” and international Counsel for Nuon Chea was absent throughout the week. The hundreds of grounds of appeal from the written filings were grouped into six thematic sessions for oral argument and were covered over three days of proceedings. All Parties were provided time to respond to arguments made by the other side. At the end of proceedings Khieu Samphan made a statement, refuting the charges and stating that he “never wanted to agree to any policy that is against the Cambodian people.” Nuon Chea maintained his right to remain silent. The SCC is expected to make a final ruling on the Appeals by the middle of 2016.
KRT Trial Monitor Case 002/01 Appeals No. 3 – Second Set of Appeal Hearings (16-18 February 2016)