Co-Prosecutors Appeal against Closing Order in Case of Duch
Source: Rasmei Kampuchea
By: La Yom
Posted date: 10-09-2008
Phnom Penh – The co-prosecutors of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) on 05 September filed their appeal against the Co-Investigating Judges’ Closing Order in the case of Kaing Guek Eav alias Duch.
This is five days ahead of schedule and in all three official languages of the ECCC: Khmer, English and French, according to an ECCC’s media alert.
The Co-Prosecutors have requested that this appeal be determined on the basis of the written submissions without the need for an oral hearing. The Co-Prosecutors have also requested that their appeal, and all related filings by the other parties, be placed on the ECCC website, the media alert reads.
ECCC 4th Plenary Session
In another case, the ECCC opened its Plenary Session from 01 until 05 September 2008 in Phnom Penh.
As noted in the opening comments to the Plenary Session by the President (Judge Kong Srim) a number of milestones have been passed, including the issuance of the Closing Order by the Co-Investigating Judges on 8 August sending Kaing Guek Eav or Duch to trial. Due to the appeal by the Co-Prosecutors against this Closing Order, the scope of the indictment is now a matter before the Pre-Trial Chamber, which will decide on the matter in the near future.
This 4th Plenary Session reviewed all these activities of the court, and adopted amendments to Internal Rules, many of which represent a refining of procedures in the light of the concrete experience of the past six months of operation. Some of the more important matters decided by this Plenary Session include:
1- The role of Civil Parties in the proceedings was given careful consideration. Amendments to the existing Internal Rules include a provision requiring victims who wish to become Civil Parties to file their applications with the Victims Unit at least 10 days before the Initial Hearing. Additional measures were agreed, including the power of Co-Investigating Judges and the Chambers to require Civil Parties to form a group and to choose one lawyer to represent the group, and providing that the Civil Party action will cease on the death of the Charged Person or Accused.
2- The judges demonstrated our commitment to conducting all proceedings within the ECCC with independence, probity and integrity. We unanimously amended the Code of Judicial Ethics to emphasise this. The full text will be published on the ECCC website.
3- Recognising that in the context of the Extraordinary Chambers records serve the dual purpose of supporting the trial and appeal process, as well as providing for the legacy of the Chambers, the Plenary discussed the use of written and audiovisual records, and agreed to use a method which will allow for a complete record of proceedings.
4- We also determined technical issues concerning the scope of appeals. The Plenary decided to adopt the precedent established by other International Criminal Tribunals dealing with cases of comparable complexity and magnitude, and limit appeals to those where an error on a question of law would invalidate the decision, or where an error of fact would occasion a miscarriage of justice.
5- In the context of a number of Internal Rules and Practice Directions, the plenary considered the balance between ECCC’s mandate to hold public hearings while maintaining confidentiality as needed. The Plenary adopted new principles for the classification of information in the Case Files.
6- The international judges expressed their gratitude to the UN Secretary-General’s Special Expert, David Tolbert for the work he has done to put the Chambers on to a more stable footing, and thereby assist the Chambers to operate more smoothly.
7- Two new judges, Catherine Marchi-Uhel (France) international reserve judge for the Supreme Court Chamber, and Siegfried Blunk (Germany) international reserve Investigating judge, were sworn in and participated fully in the Plenary.
8- All Internal Rules’ amendments will be published 10 days after the conclusion of the Plenary.
Rasmei Kampuchea – Vol 16, #4690 – Wednesday, 10 September 2008
© 2005 All rights are reserved by Open Forum of Cambodia.