K Samphan’s Lawyers Request Hearing Delay
Source: Moneaksekar Khmer
By: Chuob Praha
Posted date: 15-09-2008
Khieu Samphan’s co-defense lawyers decided to renew the Khmer Rouge Tribunal (KRT)’s hearing, setting aside the condition to request hundreds of thousands of documents to be translated into French version.
Khieu Samphan’s co-lawyer Sar Sovan said Thursday he and his French counterpart Jargue Verges requested the Pre-Trial Chamber (PTC) hold an appeal hearing of Khieu Samphan against pre-trial on 23 October, not insisting on document translation.
“I filed an application asking for the 20 October hearing to be held on 23 October. If not so, we somehow get a Cambodian lawyer,” Sor Sovan said.
The PTC in August requested the co-lawyers for Khieu Samphan decide to select a precise date for the appeal hearing against provisional detention. The set date for the hearing is on 08 September, 20 October or 01 December.
After the PTC set the above date, the co-lawyers set condition that their position on the renewed hearing remained unchanged until the documents are translated. The document translation caused the delay of the bail appeal hearing on 23 April 2008 following several hours of the hearing proceedings.
French co-lawyer Jargues Verges stated he could not defend his client properly as he had not understood the detailed documents written in English.
So far, co-lawyer Sar Sovan said he has not yet given up the French document translation. And he will monitor the translation on Monday next week.
Sar Sovan affirmed he will not be able to participate in the 20 October bail appeal hearing as both he and Jarges Verges have duties in other countries.
Court spokesman Reach Sambath said he was not notified of how the PTC makes decision on Khieu Samphan’s co-lawyers’ request.
Khieu Samphan or Comrade Hem, former regime head of state, was arrested by the Khmer Rouge tribunal on 19 November 2007 on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity. Now Khieu Samphan is being detained, awaiting trial. He is often taken to hospital due to high blood pressure.
Former KR leaders are condemned for killing some 1.7 million people during their reign from 17 April 1975 to early January 1979. Among those leaders, no one claims responsibilities for the crimes committed in the killing fields.
Five jailed and trial-awaiting former KR leaders and those most responsible for include Nuon Chea, former president of people representative’s assembly; Ieng Sary, former deputy prime minister in charge of foreign affairs; Khieu Samphan, former head of state; Ieng Thirith, former social affairs; and Kaing Guek Eav, alias Duch, former chief of Tuol Sleng prison.
Civil societies’ officials and observers are waiting for whether the expected bail hearing could be running smoothly or not. If the hearing is more delayed, the tribunal is just sexy-sounding.
A KRT official said the official trial of former director of Tuol Sleng prison Kaing Guek Eav aka Duch is expected to begin as early as October as his file case was completely investigated in spite of complaint made by the co-prosecutors.
But analysts express concerns about the possible delay of Duch trial because the tribunal is facing funding shortfall at the end of 2008. Irregularity and corruption within the court have not dealt with.
Observers say if the court is willing to find justice for the people killed in the killing fields, the trial of Duch should begin in October.
If delayed, the court is unwilling to seek justice for victims and the expenditure on millions of dollars will be in vain.
-Extracted from Moneaksekar Khmer – Vol 15, #3564 – Saturday-Sunday, 13-14, September, 2008
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