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.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Khieu Samphan In Court

Genocide tribunal hears appeal for release of ex-Khmer Rouge leader
Genocide tribunal hears appeal for release of ex-Khmer Rouge leaderBy KER MUNTHIT - Associated Press Writer© AP
2008-04-23 08:00:24 -
PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) - A former top Khmer Rouge leader went before Cambodia's genocide tribunal to seek his release from pre-trial detention, represented by a French lawyer known for defending Nazis, serial killers and Venezuelan terrorist Carlos the Jackal.One of the lawyers representing Khieu Samphan, 76, in his appeal is Jacques Verges, who
has earned notoriety with a client list that also has included Nazi Gestapo officer Klaus Barbie.The tribunal has charged Khieu Samphan with crimes against humanity and war crimes committed when the communist Khmer Rouge held power in 1975-79. Some 1.7 million people died from starvation, disease, overwork and execution as a result of the group's radical policies in trying to build a classless society.Khieu Samphan's defense lawyers say he held «no real power» as the Khmer Rouge's head of state and is not guilty of the crimes he is charged with, Judge Prak Kimsan told the court, reading from previously submitted arguments.Expressionless before the court, Khieu Samphan stood when asked to introduce himself and said he lived a life of poverty after the fall of the Khmer Rouge.«I didn't have any job, and after leaving the jungle, I depended on my wife who supported the whole family,» Khieu Samphan said, dressed in khakis and a green, long-sleeved shirt.Khieu Samphan has been detained by the tribunal since Nov. 19. He is one of five senior leaders in custody.The long-delayed tribunal is expected to hold its first trial later this year. Many fear the Khmer Rouge's aging, surviving leaders could die before being brought to justice.In its detention order, the tribunal's judges alleged that Khieu Samphan
«aided and abetted» his regime's policies that were «characterized by murder, extermination, imprisonment, persecution on political grounds and other inhumane acts such as forcible transfers of the population, enslavement and forced labor.But Khieu Samphan, in various public statements made before his arrest, blamed the late Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot for the group's policies, including decisions to purge many Khmer Rouge cadres suspected to be disloyal or spies.Verges, 83, has known Khieu Samphan since they were both active in left-wing student activities in Paris in the 1950s.
The flamboyant lawyer, who often uses his trials as a pulpit for expressing his radical viewpoints, is expected to use a more aggressive approach than other lawyers at the tribunal have so far employed.He also has represented former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic and confessed serial killer Charles Sobhraj.The first hour of Wednesday's hearing was conducted in public, with proceedings broadcast to the media in adjacent rooms. It was then closed at the request of prosecutors, who objected to the possibility of Khieu Samphan's lawyers presenting arguments that related to evidence bearing on the charges against their client rather than the merits of his provisional detention. They did not elaborate.On Tuesday, Khieu Samphan's Cambodian lawyer, Say Bory, called the tribunal's decision to hold the closed hearing «regrettable» because his client «desired to speak for the public to hear him.


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