Tuesday, September 21, 2010

ECCC Court Sets to Try Former KR Leaders Next Year

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

The Extraordinary Chambers in Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) has announced that the co-investigating judge judicial investigations of Case No 002 have been completed and the Hearing of Case No 002 will be taken place in the first quarter of 2011.

You Bunleng, ECCC’s Co-Investing Judges, said that the Co-Investigating Judges of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, have signed the Closing Order for Case File 002, indicting Ieng Sary, Ieng Thirith, Khieu Samphan and Nuon Chea and sending them for trial on September 15, 2010.

“We are pleased to announce that co-investigating judge judicial investigations of Case No 002 has been completed and we have also signed the Closing Order for Case File 002, indicting Ieng Sary, Ieng Thirith, Khieu Samphan and Nuon Chea and sending them for trial on September 15, 2010,” he said during a press conference on September 16th at the ECC Courts office.

The Co-Investigating Judge You Bunleng continued to say that the Co-Investigating Judges have also signed a Dismissal Order in respect of Kaing Guek Eav alias Duch who had been tried and convicted separately by the ECCC on 26 July 2010.

The four Accused have been sent for trial before the ECCC Trial Chamber on charges of: Crimes against humanity: extermination, murder, enslavement, deportation (of Vietnamese), imprisonment, torture, persecution on political, racial and religious grounds, rape (as a result of forced marriage) and other inhumane acts (forcible transfer of population, forced marriage, forced disappearance and “attacks against human dignity”, in the context of an attack against the entire population of Cambodia Grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949: willful killing, torture, inhumane treatment, wilfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health, willfully depriving a prisoner of war or civilian the rights of fair trial, unlawful deportation or confinement of civilians, against protected persons in the context of an international armed conflict with Vietnam.

He continued that they were also charged on Genocide of the Cham and of the Vietnamese; Offences under the Cambodian Criminal Code 1956: murder, torture and religious persecution. The four Accused have been maintained in detention until their appearance before the Trial Chamber.

“The judicial investigation thus focused in particular on the following issues: The displacement of the population (on three occasions) from urban to rural areas, then between rural areas; The establishment and operation of cooperatives and worksites (six sites);The reeducation of "bad elements" and the elimination of "enemies", in security centers and execution sites (eleven security centers and three execution sites); Crimes against specific groups, including the Cham, the Vietnamese and Buddhists; the regulation of marriage,” he said.

He added that at the close of the investigation, the Case File contained: 46 written records of interview with the Charged Persons; over 1,000 written records of interview of witnesses and Civil Parties; 36 site identification reports, a demographic expert report, numerous medical reports, and over 11,600 pieces of documentary evidence relating to the facts of the case.

You Bunleng emphasized that the whole Case File extends to over 350,000 pages, more than 223,000 of which relate to substance. In addition, the Co-Investigating Judges have ruled on the admissibility of 3,988 Civil Party applications. 2,123 applications have been declared admissible.

He added that the remaining applications (which, for the most part, were not accepted because the harm suffered by the victims was not directly related to the specific facts of which the Co-Investigating Judges were seized) have been kept on the Case File for information, given the important details they contain, along with over 4,000 victims' complaints already placed on the Case File by the Co-Prosecutors.

During the ECCC Courts’ press conference, Mr. Marcel Lemonde, the Co-Investigating Judges of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, has also resigned from his his position after the completion of Case No 002 co-investigation.

According to ECCC, The four Accused including Nuon Chea, Deputy Secretary of the Communist Party of Kampuchea, a member of the CPK Central and Standing Committees, the Chairman of the Democratic Kampuchea People’s Assembly, the Acting Prime Minister and the Vice Chairman of the CPK Centre Military Committee, Ieng Sary, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs in Democratic Kampuchea, Ieng Thirith, Minster of Social Affairs and Action, and Khieu Samphan, Head of State (Chairman of the State Presidium) of Democratic Kampuchea.

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