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 Thirith

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:
IENG Thirith
Alias: Phea
Born on 10 March 1932.
Charged with Crimes against Humanity, defined and punishable under Articles 5, 29
(new) and 39 (new) of the Law on the establishment of the Extraordinary Chambers,
dated 27 October 2007.
Noting today’s adversarial hearing,

Office of the Co-Investigating Judges
Bureau des Co-juges d’instruction

Criminal Case File /Dossier pénal
UŠ UŠ/No: 002/14-08-2006
UŠ +u/Investigation/Instruction
UŠ UŠ/No: 002/19-09-2007-ECCC/OCIJ
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 Thirith is being prosecuted for:
• Crimes Against Humanity (Murder, Extermination, Imprisonment, Persecution
and Other Inhumane Acts),
2. for having, throughout Cambodia during the period from 17 April 1975 to 6 January
• in her capacity as the Minister of Social Action, exercising authority and effective
control over the Ministry and all of its constituent and subordinate organs,
• 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
Communist Party of Kampuchea policy and practice which was characterised by
murder, extermination, imprisonment, persecution on political grounds and other
inhumane acts such as forcible transfers of the population, enslavement and
forced labour;
• as part of a widespread or systematic attack targeting a civilian population.
3. The Co-Prosecutors of the Extraordinary Chambers have requested the provisional
detention of IENG Thirith on the grounds that: on the one hand, being in possession
of a passport, she could easily flee to another country if she were left at liberty, and
that this is all the more likely since she risks life imprisonment if convicted; on the
other hand, that in the absence of detention, the victims might seek revenge and that
provisional detention is, thus, necessary to prevent disturbing public order and to
ensure the security of the Charged Person; and finally, that there is a danger of
pressure on witnesses.
4. IENG Thirith disputed the crimes which she is charged, indicating that “the claims of
the Co-Prosecutors are 100% false”; that she has never had any relations with Nuon
Chea, whom “(she) detests, as (she) knows that he is a bad person”. She demanded
that proof of her guilt be provided, specifying that, within the framework of her
functions at the Ministry of Social Action and in the health sphere, she did nothing
other than helping the population and the patients, in particular by organising repairs
to damaged hospitals and the fabrication of medication. She argued that there is no
danger of flight since her passport was seized and that she has a home, and declared
herself ready to appear whenever summoned. She also noted that she is 75 years old
and suffers from chronic physical and mental illness. Accordingly, she asked to be
left at liberty, if necessary under police supervision.
Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, National Road 4, Choam Chao, Dangkoa Phnom Penh
Mail Po Box 71, Phnom Penh Tel:+855(0)23 218914 Fax: +855(0) 23 218941.
Chambres extraordinaires au sein des tribunaux cambodgiens, Route nationale 4, Choam Chao, Dangkoa, Phnom Penh
Boite postale 71, Phnom Penh. Tel: +855(0)23 218914 Fax: +855(0) 23 218941.
5. In light of the many documents and witness statements implicating IENG Thirith,
contained in the Introductory Submission, there are well-founded reasons to believe
that she committed the crimes with which she is charged.
6. 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.
7. 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, she might attempt, and would be in a
position to organize, such pressure. Indeed, henceforth, IENG Thirith 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 is
particularly justified, especially since the Charged Person has numerous family
members and sympathizers in the regions of Phnom Malai, Pailin and Phnom Penh,
some of whom currently hold influential positions and even have armed guards.
8. Furthermore, numerous elements show that IENG Thirith (who has a residence
abroad and has made numerous voyages outside of Cambodia) has the material means
necessary to facilitate her flight to another country, especially those with which
Cambodia does not have any extradition agreements. It may, thus, be feared that the
Charged Person, who faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment if convicted,
will be tempted to flee the legal process.
9. The particular gravity of the crimes alleged against IENG Thirith renders the risks set
out above even more acute, and no bail order would be rigorous enough to ensure
that the abovementioned requirements would be sufficiently satisfied and therefore
detention remains the only means to achieve these aims.
10. 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.
11. Consequently, considering that provisional detention is necessary to prevent any
pressure on witnesses and victims; that it is also necessary to ensure the presence of
the charged person during the proceedings; and finally, that it is necessary to preserve
public order and protect the safety of the Charged Person;
On these grounds,
We hereby order that IENG Thirith be placed in provisional detention for a period not
exceeding one year.
Done at Phnom Penh, on 14 November 2007
We,......................................., have given a copy of this order to the below-mentioned
persons on …………………………...
Charged Person Lawyer of
Co-prosecutors Office of the
Delivering Agent


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