ECCC Reparations

This blog is designed to serve as a repository of analyses, news reports and press releases related to the issue of RERAPATIONS within the framework of the Extraordinary Chambers in Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), a.k.a. the Khmer Rouge Tribunal.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Order for Provisional Detention of Ieng Sary

We, You Bunleng and Marcel Lemonde, the Co-Investigating Judges of the
Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia,
Noting the Law on the establishment of the Extraordinary Chambers, dated 27 October
Noting Rule 63 of the Internal Rules of the Extraordinary Chambers,
Noting the judicial investigation opened against:
Alias: Van
Born on 24 October 1925.
Charged with Crimes against Humanity and Grave Breaches of the Geneva Conventions
of 12 August 1949, crimes defined and punishable under Articles 5, 6, 29 (new) and 39
(new) of the Law on the establishment of the Extraordinary Chambers, dated 27 October
Noting today’s adversarial hearing,

Extraordinary Chambers in the
Courts of Cambodia
1. To date (and without prejudice to the outcome of on-going judicial investigations
which may identify other offences referred to in the Introductory Submission that
may implicate the Charged Person) IENG Sary is being prosecuted for:
• Crimes Against Humanity (Murder, Extermination, Imprisonment, Persecution
and Other Inhumane Acts), and
• Grave Breaches of the Geneva Conventions of 1949 (Wilful Killing, Wilfully
Causing Great Suffering or Serious Injury to Body or Health, Wilful Deprivation
of Rights to a Fair Trial of prisoners of war or civilians, unlawful deportation or
transfer or unlawful confinement of a civilian),
2. for having, throughout Cambodia during the period from 17 April 1975 to 6 January
• in his capacity as the Minister of Foreign Affairs, exercising authority and
effective control over the Ministry and all of its constituent and subordinate
organs, and as a full rights member of the Central and Standing Committees of the
Communist Party of Kampuchea (CPK),
• instigated, ordered, failed to prevent and punish, or otherwise aided and abetted in
the commission of the aforementioned crimes;
• by directing, encouraging, enforcing, or otherwise rendering support to CPK
policy and practice which was characterised by murder, extermination,
imprisonment, persecution on political grounds and other inhuman acts such as
forcible transfers of the population, enslavement and forced labour;
• as part of a widespread or systematic attack targeting a civilian population;
• noting that there was a state of international armed conflict between Democratic
Kampuchea and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam during all or part of the period
between 17 April 1975 and 6 January 1979.
3. The Co-Prosecutors, who developed their factual and legal arguments in the written
submissions placed on the case file on 18 October 2007 and 13 November 2007, have
requested the provisional detention of IENG Sary, firstly, in order to guarantee his
presence before the Extraordinary Chambers, arguing that he is in possession of a
passport and that there is a danger of flight; secondly, to prevent any acts of revenge
by the victims; and finally, to prevent any pressure on witnesses.
4. IENG Sary disputed the crimes which he is charged, declaring: “there are certain
accusations that I cannot accept” and demanding that proof of his guilt be provided.
He added: “I would like to know the truth about a dark period in our history. I do not
know where the truth lies. I am very happy that this Court has been established
because it will be an opportunity for me to discover the truth and also to share what I

know”. He asked to be left at liberty, fearing that he would die in prison before
knowing the truth, and claiming that, if he dies, the first victim will be his family, but
the second will be the Court, which would thus lose an important witness and be
criticised. He stated that he has no intention of interfering with the proceedings,
noting that he has been at liberty for many years, informed of the possibility of being
charged for a long time, and that he would have had the opportunity to intervene with
the witnesses but has never done so. He observed that he is old and sick. He isnsited
on the total absence of any danger of flight, and declared himself ready to appear
whenever summoned, adding that his age and state of health would not allow him to
flee, which he could have done a long time ago if he had so wished. As regards the
danger of revenge, he pointed out that, since he rallied the Government, he has never
received the slightest threat, either in Pailin or Phnom Penh. On the contrary, he
recalled that after being convicted by the Revolutionary Tribunal in Phnom Penh on
the 19th of August 1979, he received an amnesty from the King on 14 September
1996 and that there was no trouble as a result. He stressed that it was thanks to him
that the Khmer Rouge forces reintegrated the Government and argued that he had
thus contributed to the re-establishment of peace. In conclusion, he requested to be
left at liberty on bail.
5. Before deciding on the provisional detention of IENG Sary, it is worth recalling the
particular circumstances of the Charged Person which, given the obligation to take
account of both exculpatory and inculpatory evidence in conducting the judicial
investigation, raises a specific difficulty that the Co-Investigating Judges must
resolve. Indeed, an in absentia Judgement handed down by the People’s
Revolutionary Tribunal at Phnom Penh on 19 August 1979, condemned IENG Sary to
death and confiscation of all his possessions for the crime of genocide.1 It appears
that, under Cambodian law, this judgement is final. Later, under a Royal Decree dated
14 September 1996, IENG Sary was pardoned for these penalties and received an
amnesty with respect to the 14 July 1994 Law on “the Outlawing of the "Democratic
Kampuchea" Group”.
6. This situation raises a number of legal issues: first, does the current prosecution
before the ECCC infringe the binding authority of a previous legal decision, under the
general principle of criminal law ne bis in idem? second, assuming that the answer to
the first question is negative (and providing that the Co-Investigating Judges have the
jurisdiction to decide on the scope of the 1996 Royal Decree), are the pardon and
amnesty granted to IENG Sary opposable to the ECCC? These issues will be dealt
with consecutively.
1 Judgement of the People’s Revolutionary Court, Doc. U. N. A/34/491, 19 August 1979.

A. Ne bis in idem
7. Pursuant to Article 14(7) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,
dated 16 December 1966, which the ECCC are required to follow, “No one shall be
liable to be tried or punished again for an offence for which he has already been
finally convicted or acquitted in accordance with the law and penal procedure of
each country.” However, under international criminal law, this is not an absolute
8. Thus, as a general rule, the statutes and practice of international and internationalized
tribunals permit the prosecution of a person for the same acts and under the same
legal characterization, in particular where “the proceedings in the other court: (a)
Were for the purpose of shielding the person concerned from criminal responsibility
for crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court; or (b) Otherwise were not conducted
independently or impartially in accordance with the norms of due process recognized
by international law and were conducted in a manner which, in the circumstances,
was inconsistent with an intent to bring the person concerned to justice” 2. The Co-
Investigating Judges will decide later whether they need to conduct an in-depth
analysis of the trial that tool place before the People’s Revolutionary Tribunal in
1979. In any case, the question whether this solution is applicable to the
circumstances of the case in hand does not arise at this time since, without prejudice
to the outcome of on-going judicial investigation, IENG Sary is not currently charged
with genocide.
9. Moreover, consistent case law of the international tribunals establishes that, as
regards international crimes, cumulative convictions are possible in relation to the
same act as long as each offence has a materially distinct element not contained in the
other3. Therefore, it is accepted that a person may be prosecuted for genocide, crimes
against humanity and war crimes based on the same acts, given that the each of these
international offences has a distinct element not contained in the others and protects
different values4. This solution has already been adopted before 1975, since the
International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg also handed down cumulative
convictions based on the same acts5. In application of these principles, there seems to
2 Article 20 Rome Statute; see as well Article 9(2) ICTR Statute; Article 10 ICTY Statute; Article 9 SCSL
Statute; UNTAET regulation 2000/15.
3 Judgement of the ICTY Appeals Chamber, Case No. IT-96-21-A, The Prosecutor v. Delalic et al
(“CELEBICI Case”), 20 February 2001, para. 412.
4 See also the Judgement of an ICTY Trial Chamber in Prosecutor v. Kupreskic et al, Case No. IT-95-16,
14 January 2000, para. 637; the Judgement of an ICTR Trial Chamber in Prosecutor v. Jean-Paul Akayesu,
Case No. 96-46-T, 2 September 1998, par. 468 ; Timor Leste Special Panels, Legal Ruling Concerning the
Applicability of Ne Bis in Idem at the Arrest Warrant Stage of the Proceedings, Case Wiranto et al, No.
05/2003, 5 May 2005, para. 33 ;and for national case law : US Supreme Court, Blockburger v. United
States, 284 U.S. 299, 304 (1932).
5 For example, 12 accused, including Goering, Ribbentropp, Keitel, Rosenberg, Jodl and Von Neurath,
were found guilty cumulatively of crimes against humanity and war crimes; see the Judgement of the
be no impediment to the prosecution of IENG Sary for the acts covered by the 1979
Judgement under an international legal characterisation other than genocide.
10. Finally, and above all, it already appears to be established that the 1979 Judgement
did not cover all of the acts for which IENG Sary is currently being charged.
Accordingly, there does not appear to be any valid argument here concerning the
binding authority of previous legal decisions.
B. The scope of the 1996 pardon and amnesty
11. Article 40 of the Law on the establishment of the Extraordinary Chambers, dated 27
October 2004 (as provided in Article 11 of the Agreement between the United
Nations and the Royal Government of Cambodia dated 6 June 2003) confers
jurisdiction on the Extraordinary Chambers to decide on “the scope of any amnesty or
pardon that may have been granted prior to the enactment of this Law”, which is in
fact a direct reference to the case of IENG Sary. In its capacity as a judicial body of
the ECCC responsible for conducting an exculpatory and inculpatory investigation
into IENG Sary’s alleged acts, the Co-Investigating Judges thus have jurisdiction to
decide on the scope of the pardon and amnesty in question. Of course, their
determination is of a provisional nature and does not bind the Trial and Supreme
Court Chambers.
12. As regards the effects of the royal pardon, it is important to note that they are limited
to annulment of the sentence, as well as its execution, without having any effect on
the conviction decision as such. Accordingly, even if it were opposable against the
ECCC, this measure would have no effect on the current prosecution, and the only
issue is that of the conviction itself, which has been dealt with above.
13. The amnesty, on the other hand, makes express reference to the 1994 Law. Yet, apart
from an allusion to genocidal acts in its preamble, this law only refers to a number of
domestic law offences subject to prosecution in accordance with national legislation
applicable at the time, as well as a series of crimes against State security. Therefore, it
does not cover the offences coming within the jurisdiction of the ECCC.
14. In summary, neither the pardon nor the amnesty currently establish any obstacles to
prosecution before the ECCC for the international crimes with which IENG Sary
stands charged. The only remaining issue at this stage is, thus, whether the
provisional detention of the Charged Person is necessary or not.
Nuremberg IMT, 1 October 1946, available on the Avalon project at Yale University:
C. Provisional Detention
15. In light of the many documents and witness statements implicating NUON CHEA,
contained in the Introductory Submission, there are well-founded reasons to believe
that he committed the crimes with which he is charged.
16. These crimes are of a gravity such that, 30 years after their commission, they still
profoundly disrupt public order to such a degree that it is not excessive to conclude
that a decision to leave the Charged Person at liberty would, in the fragile context of
today’s Cambodian society, risk provoking protests of indignation which could lead
to violence and perhaps imperil the very safety of the Charged Person, given that the
situation is clearly no longer perceived in the same way since the official prosecution
has commenced.
17. In addition, it is absolutely essential for the continuing judicial investigation to
prevent any pressure on witnesses and victims. Indeed, it may be feared that, if the
Charged Person were to remain at liberty, he might attempt, and would be in a
position to organize such pressure. Indeed, henceforth, IENG Sary will have access to
all of the elements in the case file of the judicial investigation, including the written
records of interviews with specific witnesses, complaints and civil party applications.
Whereas the nature of the alleged crimes makes it difficult for a suspect to identify
and influence the very large number of potential witnesses before the judicial
investigation begins, the same is not true once the Charged Person has knowledge of
the identity of the inculpatory witnesses and victims involved in the proceedings. In
view of this new situation, the fear of pressure being exercised would be particularly
justified if the Charged Person was in a position to have uncontrolled communication
with these people, given that IENG Sary has numerous family members and former
subordinates in the regions of Phnom Malai, Pailin and Phnom Penh, some of whom
currently hold influential positions and even have armed guards.
18. Furthermore, numerous elements show that IENG Sary (who has a residence abroad
and has made numerous voyages outside Cambodia) has the material means
necessary to facilitate his flight to another country, especially those with which
Cambodia does not have any extradition agreements. The Charged Person, who faces
a maximum sentence of life imprisonment if convicted, has made a number of public
statements to the effect that he refuses to appear before the Extraordinary Chambers.
These statements severely undermine the value of any statements which indicate his
intention to be available at trial. It may, thus, be feared that he will be tempted to flee
the legal process.
19. To date, none of the documents produced by the defence lead us to believe that the
Charged Person’s state of health is incompatible with detention.
20. The particular gravity of the crimes alleged against IENG Sary renders the risks set
out above even more acute, and no bail order would be rigorous enough to ensure


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