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.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

John Kerry's Two Cents' Worth on the ECCC

Still awaiting justice
The Lowell Sun
Article Last Updated: 05/22/2008 06:35:53 AM EDT

Last month marked the 10-year anniversary of the death of Pol Pot, a brutal and cruel figure who died peacefully in a small wooden hut in northern Cambodia without ever being forced to answer for his role in the death of nearly 2 million Cambodians in the Killing Fields. We also recently mourned the death of Cambodian photojournalist Dith Pran, whose inspiring story of surviving those bloody years was a triumph of the human spirit amid one of history's darkest chapters.

Thirty years after these atrocities shocked the world's collective conscience, time is running out if the perpetrators are ever to be held accountable. The survivors still yearn to see justice served.

America and the international community must act now to support Cambodia's war crimes tribunal.

Coming to grips with the past is necessary to building a better future for the Cambodian people -- but after so many years of impunity, much work remains to restore the rule of law. Even today, human-rights abuses plague the country. Holding the worst offenders from the Khmer Rouge to account for their crimes will lay to rest a legacy of lawlessness and brutality. It will also send an important message to leaders of genocidal regimes like the one in Sudan, and brutal dictatorships like those in Burma and Zimbabwe, that the worst crimes will not go unpunished.

It was for these reasons that America helped the Cambodian government form a special court to try senior Khmer Rouge leaders. Of all the work I've been a part of on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, I am especially proud to have played a key role in the tribunals' creation -- traveling to Cambodia time and again to help find a compromise structure that was acceptable to both the United Nations and the Cambodian government.

In the end, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), was set up less than two years ago in Cambodia's capital city, Phnom Penh. Today, this hybrid court, where Cambodian and international judges, prosecutors, defense counsel, and court staff work side by side with the Cambodian government, is finally prepared to begin its first trials of five of the most senior Khmer Rouge leaders who -- next to Pol Pot himself -- were most responsible for the killing fields.

Unfortunately, after several stops and starts, the court faces a looming financial crisis -- indeed, there is a real danger that the ECCC will collapse before it even gets off the ground. Direct American support is needed. Unfortunately, since we helped to broker the agreement between the U.N. and the Cambodian government to establish the tribunal, the United States has declined to support the court politically or financially.

Make no mistake, our reticence has stemmed in part from reasonable concerns about the independence of the process and apparent financial improprieties. However, today most of these issues have been addressed, and the best way to ensure a legitimate process going forward is to get our country more involved in the court.

With American backing, we can use our financial leverage to improve the process. Specifically, our involvement could effect higher standards of transparency, independence, integrity, more effective witness protection, meaningful victim participation, and adequate anti-corruption measures. We can also assist ongoing U.N. efforts to ensure that the trials proceed fairly. That's why I have proposed a modest contribution of about $2 million, dedicated to support the victims' rights and witness protection programs run by the United Nations.

Recent history in places like Rwanda and Yugoslavia has shown that U.S. leadership can make the crucial difference in the search for post-conflict justice. Other international donors have been carrying the burden without us for years -- and many are now beginning to suffer from "tribunal fatigue." Even a minimal U.S. contribution of $2 million would help mobilize others to increase their support, while sending a message to the people of Cambodia and the world that America stands strongly behind our principles.

Cambodians have already waited too long for justice. Many children today have no recollection of their country's torturous past -- and some even doubt that the atrocities ever happened. Day by day, survivors die without seeing any accountability for the horrors that were committed, and without lending their voices to the record of history. A successful tribunal for Cambodia will continue the essential process that began with the Nuremberg trials of setting a standard for accountability and sending a message that the world will never forget.

Time is running out for Cambodia to make peace with its history. They need our help. As Dith Pran said, "The dead are crying out for justice." We must do our part to make sure that these cries are finally heard.

Sen. John Kerry has represented Massachusetts in the U.S. Senate since 1984.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Khieu Samphan still in Calmette for treatment

Neth Pheaktra
The Mekong Times
Monday, May 26, 2008

Khieu Samphan, former Khmer Rouge (KR) head of state, is still being treated at Calmette hospital for high blood pressure. He was taken to the hospi­tal from the Khmer Rouge Tribunal (KRT)'s detention center May 21.
"[He] is better, but doctors have asked for Khieu Samphan to stay for a while to in order to monitor his diseases," said Reach Sambath, spokesman for the KRT.

Khieu Samphan, 77, suffers from high blood pressure, kidney disease, and is thought to have suffered a mild stroke late last year. His fragile state of health concerns many Cam­bodians who fear that it will disrupt a judicial process for which victims have awaited for more than three decades.
According to Reach Sambath, of the five senior KR leaders detained by the ECCC, former KR Foreign Min­ister Ieng Sary goes to hospital most often. The suspect thought to be in the best health is the former head of Toul Sleng prison Kaing Kek Euv, known as Duch, who is the young­est detainee at 65.
"If the health of the former KR leader continues to worsen, it will delay the process in seeking justice for KR victims because the inves­tigative process will be too long," said Youk Chhang, director of the Documentation Center of Cambodia, which has gathered thousands of pieces of written and oral evidence of the atrocities committed during the KR's brutal 1975-1979 rule.
"There is sufficient documentary evidence," said Youk Chhang. "But the court's procedures are complicated. Co-Investigating Judges need to find ways to speed the process up and use their resources to ensure justice is provided for victims."
Kek Galabru, president of local human rights group Licadho, said the public is concerned about the health of Khieu Samphan, adding that while the court has made great progress it seems to be moving too slowly.

"The lengthy trial process has aged Khieu Samphan and being held in the detention center has caused mental tension and had negative impacts on [his] health," she said.

"Cambodian people are afraid that [Khieu Samphan] will - like KR Brother Number One Pol Pot and one-legged former KR military commander Ta Mok - die without relating the secrets he knows of the mass killings during the KR regime," she said.

However, she believes that the tribunal has thoroughly considered the health problems of former KR leaders and that she hopes the international community will continue to support its process until it is complete.

Tribunal officials have acknowledged the public's fears.

"The tribunal, the public, and lawyers are all concerned," said Reach Sambath. "But most importantly we provide proper heath service for them. We hope that the former KR leaders will not have any health problems, and will be fit to stand trial."

Extracted from the Mekong Times
Issue No. 75
Monday, May 26, 2008

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Khieu Samphan Hospitalized

Former Khmer Rouge official hospitalized as ex-comrade appears before tribunal
© AP
2008-05-21 05:40:46
PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) - A spokesman for the Khmer Rouge tribunal says the regime's former head of state has been hospitalized for high blood pressure.The spokesman says Khieu Samphan, 76, was taken Wednesday from his detention cell at the tribunal compound to a Phnom Penh hospital. Tribunal spokesman Reach Sambath says Khieu Samphan's condition was not considered «extremely urgent but necessitated attention.

His hospitalization came as the tribunal was hearing an appeal against pretrial detention from Ieng Thirith, the Khmer Rouge's former social affairs minister.

Khmer Rouge 'First Lady' Ieng Thirith faces KRT

Craig Guthrie
The Mekong Times
Thursday, May 22, 2008

Ieng Thirith, the former Khmer Rouge (KR) Minister of Social Af­fairs and single most powerful woman in Cambodia during the KR's
murderous regime, yesterday appealed against her provisional detention at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC).

Withered and stern, the bespectacled wife of fellow ECCC detainee, former KR Foreign Minister Ieng Sary, calmly took the stand to confirm her name, age and place of birth. She appeared at a loss when asked how many children she had.

But there were none of the hyster­ics hyped as a possibility by her Cam­bodian Co-Defense Lawyer Phat Pouv Seang prior to the hearing - he had claimed that her alleged mental deteri­oration could cause her to vacantly cry or shout out at the court and disrupt proceedings.

Ieng Thirith, the younger sister of "Brother Number One" Pol Pot's wife Khieu Ponnary, is blamed by historians for kick-starting the regime's merciless
inner purges after blaming the horrif­ic living conditions in the country's northwest region to "foreign agents in­filtrating our ranks."

But her English Co-Defense Law­yer Diane Ellis QC, wearing the short bench wig traditionally seen in Brit­ish courts, yesterday said that the co-investigating judges had made fatal flaws in their decision to place a year­long Provisional Detention Order (PDO) on the 76-year-old in November 2007. Ieng Thirith presents a flight risk, her release would endanger both her personal safety and public order, and she could destroy evidence and pres­sure potential witnesses, judges ar­gued in their pre-trial examination re­port.

Ellis argued that her client's case was "very different and separate" to that of the other four accused, and that there was no factual basis for her detention. "There is also no direct wit­ness evidence to form well-founded reasoning that she is guilty," said El­lis.

Ellis said Ieng Thirith has been a
resident of Cambodia all her life; she did not leave the country despite pos­sibly being aware of her looming arrest in November 2007. She also claimed that Ieng Thirith is not healthy enough to flee and lacks the means to do so.

"She does not own a single resi­dence, not - as suggested - in Cuba or even the Phnom Penh villa she was living in when arrested," the lawyer said, claiming that the impoverished Ieng Thirith is reliant on her family and had offered to surrender her valid passport.

Surprisingly the defense made little specific mention of the mental condi­tion that Phat Pouv Seang had previ­ously declared would prove pivotal.

"She has suffered from chronic ill health for many years and is continu­ously taking medication ... her infir­mity makes it difficult to come to a serious conclusion that she would at­tempt to flee," added Ellis.

There would be no threat of revenge attacks by KR victims if Ieng Thirith was released, said Ellis, and her per­sonal security is put at greater threat by her continued detention.

But Belgian Co-Prosecutor Vincent de Wilde d'Estmael responded by de­manding explanations "for the radical, murderous attempt at utopia - expla­nations for the paranoia which caused the death of millions."

Ieng Thirith was a member of the KR elite for decades, and as such believed she had permanent immunity from the
world's laws, he argued. She influ­enced, encouraged and fully took part in crimes that she has never disowned, he said. "Crimes of a nature which [if unpunished] put in peril the very foun­dations and existence of mankind."

He added that Ieng Thirith enjoys "substantial prestige and popularity in the former KR bastion of Pailin," prov­ing she has the means and influence to put pressure on the few number of key senior witnesses who left which can testify about her role at the KR Minis­try of Social Affairs.

Her son is the vice-governor of the city and she is related to the governor,
both of whom have been openly hostile to the ECCC, said de Wilde d'Estmael, adding that this is particularly rele­vant since she has now seen her case file, which includes details of potential witnesses against her.

He cited two examples as evidence of the likelihood of her pressuring wit­nesses: Firstly, her attack on Documen­tary Center of Cambodia Director Youk Chhang in an newspaper article in 1997, in which she called his descrip­tion of KR atrocities as "lies aimed at dividing Cambodia," from a "mean and ruthless [man]."

Secondly, she "violently ordered the silencing" of a senior KR cadre during a 2003 meeting of Ieng Sary's political organization the Democratic National United Movement when the former cadre suggested that the Iengs could be brought to trial one day.

He added that far from being an in­digent, the Ieng family was "not pen­niless" and had traveled extensively. "North Korea, Africa, Cuba - among countries where it is perceivable that she could be offered a safe-haven."

Ieng Thirith did not leave Cambo­dia before July 2007 because she was confident of her long-lasting impunity, he said. "It is highly disturbing then, if she was aware of her imminent ar­rest, that she applied for and received a visa for Thailand on Nov 8," a mere six days before her arrest, argued de Wilde d'Estmael.

"Was this a planned attempt to ab­scond?" he asked.

De Wilde d'Estmael said the argu­ment that Ieng Thirith was incapable physically or mentally to face trial was "feeble indeed," and asked why - if this was the case - a counter-examina­tion was not requested.

If Phat Pouv Seang had read the 200 pages of medical evidence, which he suggested in a newspaper interview proved Ieng Thirith was mentally ill,
he would have realized that the argu­ment was utterly groundless, said de Wilde d'Estmael.

In response to the argument that it had not been proved that public order would be disrupted by her release, he said that dangerous events need to be predicted before they occur.

"There is no need to act as the sorcer­
er's apprentice in an environment that remains restive," he told the court.

In conclusion, the lawyer argued that the tribunal's attempt to end the culture of impunity in Cambodia had gone, "past the point of return," and that Ieng Thirith's release at this point would send "contradictory signals" to the Cambodian public.

"This would be deeply perplexing
and cause feelings of betrayal and dis­gust that could cause a downward spi­ral into violent unrest," he said.

Ieng Thirith waived her right to a final statement as she felt unwell with rising blood pressure. "I have high-blood pres¬sure. When I get angry it rises rapidly. Please seek justice for me.... I was not [involved] as accused," she said. The decision on her appeal is to be announced by the ECCC in the coming days, said ECCC Public Affairs Officer Helen Jarvis.

Extracted From the Mekong Times
Issue No. 73
Thursday, May 22, 2008

Meet the Lawyers: Diana Ellis (for Ieng Thirith): Profile

Practice AreaSpecialist in Criminal Law and International Humanitarian Law, Wide experience in handling serious criminal cases including murder, fraud, armed robbery, sexual abuse, child abuse, blackmail, drug trafficking and in dealing with vulnerable witnesses. Ranked as a Leading Silk in Chambers and Partners.Fraud, Money Laundering and ConfiscationR –v- McIntosh and Ors– multi million pound carousel VAT fraud operating over several years. The defendant centrally involved in the organisation of the fraud-in setting up buffer companies and laundering the proceeds of the fraud.Serious Crime VHCC:R –v- McPherson & Ors – acted for one of nine gang members involved in a drug related murder.R –v- Shah and Ors– Represented the main defendant who was accused of the murder of PC Sharon Beshenivsky and attempted murder of a fellow police officer. The officers had gone to investigate an armed robbery. Issues concerning the accuracy of identification of the man who fired the fatal shots. Complex expert evidence concerning use of firearms- in this case a Mac10 and pistols.The case received nationwide publicity in the press and on television.Other Notable Cases:R-v- Alecu and Ors – “The Ambulance Murder” Acted for the leader of a Romanian gang who chased the victim of a rival gang into the back of an ambulance and beat him to death. R –v- PN & Anr – attempted murder of rival gang member. Shot in the head, victim survived with brain injuries.R –v- McCook and Ors (1) –Multi handed murder between rival gangs.R –v- McCook and Ors (2) –Acted for one of three youths accused of murdering a rival geng member who had been lured to the scene of the crime.R –v- Durrani –Acted for a man accused of murdering, in a vicious and sadistic manner, a well known literary agent who had befriended him Complex mental heath issues The cases attracted much media attention. R –v- Caines and Ors – Acted for a man accused of being contracted to blackmail and murder. R –v- Burrell – Acted for a man accused of the rape of a woman working in the Department of Constitutional Affairs.R –v- Hemmington –Acted for a woman accused of murdering her baby by suffocation. Involved consideration of several medical issues. R –v- Goldie –Acted for the head of school for disturbed children who was accused of sexually abusing those in his care over a period of many years.R –v- M – One of several men accused of being involved in the murder of a rival, the last in a series of ‘tit for tat’ shootings spanning over a year leading to the deaths and non-fatal injuries (Operation Trident)R –v- Enever – Acted for one of three youths accused of killing another youth with a cross-bow.R –V- Hussein Hasan and Ors – Multi handed murder by a Somalian gang of a rival gang member. R –v- Iqbal and Ors –Acted for one of several men accused of attempting to murder rival gang members. The two groups were in a drugs war.R –v- Gamor – The killing by a mother of her two young children. Complicated mental health issues.R –v- Pervez- Acted for a man accused of multiple rapes carried out over a period of 15 months. Raised issues concerning the Pakistani culture.

Rats Vincent Hickey and Ors – The appellant and three others were convicted of the murder of Carl Bridgewater (The Bridgewater Case) Rats James –Acted on appeal. A five Judge court was assembled to consider whether a decision of the Board of the Privy Council could take precedence over a decision of the House of Lords where there was a conflict. This case was concerned with applying the correct direction on provocation.Extradition CasesRe: Emmanuelle Nteziryayo and Ors –Acting for one of four Rwandans who’s extradition to Arusha has been sort on a charge of genocide. International Criminal LawDefence counsel for Professor Ferdinand Nahimana in the first trial to take place before an International Court on charges relating to the role of the media in the commission of genocide – at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in Arusha.PublicationsCo-authored several Criminal Bar Association working papers. Professional MembershipsCriminal Bar AssociationEuropean Criminal Bar AssociationInternational Bar AssociationLibertyBar Pro-Bono UnitUN Appointed Counsel Working knowledge of French

Ieng Thirith's British Lawyer Sworn In

Touch Yuthea
The Mekong Times
Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A British barrister represent­ing Ieng Thirith, who was social affairs minister dur­ing the Khmer Rouge (KR) regime, was officially sworn in yesterday.

Diana Ellis OC will have full rights to practise law according to the code of the Cambodian Bar Association (CBA) when she rep­resents Ieng Thirith at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal (KRT) for her appeal against a provisional detention or­der today. Ellis wore a black gown and white wig, the formal attire for barristers when she was sworn in at the Appeals Court.

A hearing on Ieng Thirith's deten­tion is to begin today after being postponed in April.

After the director of the appeals court reviewed submitted docu­ments and listened to the argu­ments of representatives of the CBA in the hearing room, Appeals Court Judge Samrith Sophal authorized co-defense lawyer Ellis to represent Ieng Thirith at the KRT. Samrith Sophal recommended Ellis practice her profession "with ethics and dig¬nity" in line with the laws of the bar association.

"I was appreciative of the com¬ments made by the prosecutors and the judges. They treated me very nicely," Ellis said following the swearing-in ceremony. "They gave me good advice, ensuring that I familiarized myself with the system which poerates in Cambodia ... and they wished me well, which I appreciated."

Phat Pouv Seang, Cambodian co-defense lawyer for Ieng Thirith, at tended the swearing-in ceremony for Ellis. Afterwards, when a reporter asked him if his client had a chance of being released on bail, he said that he was ready to defend his client and a bail decision would be determined after the pre-trial chambers' hearing on the appeal case today.

Extracted from The Mekong Times
Issue No. 72
Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Ieng Thirith to appeal KRT detention today

The Mekong Times
Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Ieng Thirith, a for­mer Khmer Rouge government min­ister facing charges of crimes against human­ity, will appeal for re­lease from pre-trial de­tention by Cambodia's UN-assisted tribunal, a spokesman said yes­terday.

The Khmer Rouge Tribunal (KRT) seeks justice for atrocities committed by the ultra-communist group when it ruled Cambodia in

Ieng Thirith, who was the Khmer Rouge social affairs minister, is among five suspects facing trial for their al­leged roles in the bru­tal regime whose radi­cal policies caused the deaths of about 1.7 mil­lion people from starva­tion, disease, overwork and execution.

Reach Sambath, a KRT spokesman, said the 76-year-old Ieng Thirith will appeal at a hearing today for re­ lease from the deten­tion facility.

He said medical doc­tors assigned to ex­amine Ieng Thirith's health have determined she is fit to be brought before judges.

Ieng Thirith's Cam­bodian lawyer Phat Pouv Seang has cited a lack of evidence for detaining her and said she "suffers from a number of debilitat­ing and chronic condi­tions, both mental and physical" that require constant medical treat­ment.

Ieng Thirith is the wife of Ieng Sary, the Khmer Rouge regime's deputy prime minister and foreign minister who is also detained on charges of crimes against humanity and war crimes.

Ieng Thirith is also
the sister-in-law of for­mer Khmer Rouge lead­er Pol Pot, who died in 1998.
In a detention order issued in November, the tribunal's inves­tigating judges said Ieng Thirith is to be tried for her support of Khmer Rouge poli­cies and practices that were "characterized by murder, extermina­tion, imprisonment, persecution on political grounds and other in­human acts."

She has rejected the charges against her as "100 percent false," ac­cording to the deten­tion order.

Ieng Thirith has de­nied responsibility for any criminal acts and said she worked at all times for the benefit of the people, according to an appeal filed in Janu­ary by her lawyer, Phat Pouv Seang.

Ieng Thirith, who was among the first genera­tion of modern female Cambodian intellectu­als, studied English literature in Paris and worked as a professor after returning to Cam­bodia in 1957.

Three years later she founded a private Eng­lish school in the capi­tal, Phnom Penh.

She followed her husband into the jungle to flee government repres­sion in 1965. Their communist movement later became a guer­rilla force that toppled the pro-American Lon Nol government in 1975, putting Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge into power and turning the country into a vast
slave labor camp. The husband and wife, who are held in separate cells, have also been allowed to occa­sionally see each other in the presence of the detention guards, Reach Sambath said.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Former Khmer Rouge government minister to appeal her detention by Cambodian tribunal

© AP
2008-05-20 06:45:41

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) - A former Khmer Rouge government minister facing charges of crimes against humanity will appeal for release from detention during a U.N. assisted tribunal, a spokesman said Tuesday.

The tribunal, seeks justice for atrocities committed by the ultra-communist group when it ruled Cambodia in 1975-79.

Ieng Thirith, who was the Khmer Rouge social affairs minister, is among five suspects facing trial for their alleged roles in the regime's brutality. Its radical policies caused the deaths of about 1.7 million people from starvation, disease, overwork and execution. Reach Sambath, a tribunal spokesman, said the 75-year-old Ieng Thirith will appeal at a hearing Wednesday for release from a detention facility during the proceedings. The lawyer cited lack of evidence for detaining Ieng Thirith and said she «suffers from a number of debilitating and chronic conditions, both mental and physical» that require constant medical treatment.
The suspect is the wife of Ieng Sary, who was the regime's deputy prime minister and foreign minister and is also detained on charges of crimes against humanity and war crimes.Ieng Thirith is also the sister-in-law of to Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot, who died in 1998.In a detention orders issued in November, the tribunal's investigating judges said Ieng Thirith is being tried for supporting Khmer Rouge policies and practices that were «characterized by murder, extermination, imprisonment, persecution on political grounds and other inhuman acts.

She has rejected the charges against her as «100 percent false,» according to the detention order.She has denied responsibility for any criminal acts and said she worked at all times for the benefit of the people, according to an appeal filed in January by her lawyer, Phat Pouv Seang.Ieng Thirith, who was among the first generation of female Cambodian intellectuals, studied English literature in Paris and worked as a professor after returning to Cambodia in 1957. Three years later she founded a private English school in the capital, Phnom Penh.She followed her husband into the jungle to flee government repression in 1965. Their communist movement later became a guerrilla force that toppled the pro-American government in 1975, putting Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge into power and turning the country in a vast slave labor camp.

No Dice On the $114 Million Budget?

Tribunal Seeks Budget for Five Trials Soon
By Mean Veasna, VOA Khmer 12 May 2008

Khmer Rouge tribunal administration chief Sean Visoth said Monday a revised budget must bring five leaders to trial soon.

“The budget presently under review should be as definite as possible,” he said in a speech addressing donors last week and posted on the tribunal Web site Monday.

The budget should also project the time requirements in dealing with the trials of the five leaders in custody: Kaing Khek Iev, Nuon Chea, Khieu Samphan, Ieng Sary and Ieng Thirith.

Tribunal officials have asked for as much as $114 million in additional funds over the $56 million originally proposed. Donors need a smaller sum.
“We are still in the final stages of developing a precise budget because the budget presumed in early January was not welcome by jurists, because it was too big and it went for too long period,” tribunal spokeswoman Helen Jarvis said. “So now we are seeing how it can be cut back.”

Youk Chhang, director of the Documentation Center of Cambodia, said he agreed that the five leaders must be tried soon, but he said the use of the first $56 million was still unclear.

The tribunal “must use this money to try the first case, to show the donors,” he said.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Reminder: Hearing on May, 21

The Pre-Trial Chamber of the ECCC has scheduled a Public Hearing of the Appeal by Ieng Thirith against the Order of Provisional Detention to open on 21 May 2008. The Chamber has decided to permit a live feed of the proceedings to be given to radio and television stations for public broadcast. Media representatives and the general public are also invited to attend in person (See full text below)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Budget Hinged on Prosecutorial Discretion or Administrative Calculations Based upon a Limited Scope of Prosecutions?

The Office of Administration of the ECCC was recently quoted as saying that the budget for which funding is currently sought is tailored for the 5 detainees currently held by the ECCC. This was contrasted with the international Co-Prosecutor's statement that no decision had been made about whether to build cases against other suspects and how many more suspect we should be expecting. An Open Society Justice Initiative (OSJI) representative referred to 'prosecutorial discretion', which she argued would be undermined, if budgetary matters were allowed to interfere with the Co-Prosecutors' authority to initiate as many cases as they deemed necessary. True as this statement might be for domestic jurisdictions, it is difficult to see how it has any bearing on the process at hand. To unpack this, it is instructive to think of the fact that most criminal domestic jurisdictions run on the particular jurisdiction's tax payers' money. Prosecutors -- in the United States, for example, -- are publicly elected officials who can be removed by the very public which is paying its dollars to keep said prosecutors in office. The general public, therefore, at election, exercises a meaningful check on the prosecutorial discretion in the US. If the public feels that prosecutions have gone awry during the tenure of a particular prosecutor, s/he is not likely to be re-elected. This is not at all the case in Cambodia, particularly when it comes to the ECCC. Cambodia, thus far, has contributed about zero dollars to the ECCC and has limited itself to providing the building to house the court, which is the least any country could have done. The Cambodian public has about zero ability to exercise any type of check -- meaningful or otherwise -- on the discretion of the ECCC Co-Prosecutors, who are not elected but instead were appointed by the UN and the RGC through the processes the nature and content of which are unknown to the public. In case the Cambodian public -- the small component of which follows the process in question -- decides to express its lack of appreciation of the choices made by the Co-Prosecutors, there is absolutely no way they will be able to have their voice heard. Ergo, when we talk about 'prosecutorial discretion' and its bredth, we must acknowledge that the ECCC Co-Prosecutors have absolute discretion completely unchecked by the Cambodian public.
With this in mind, the only check on the ECCC's prosecutorial powers -- besides that of the Co-Investigating Judges -- are those of the public of the donor countries which exercises a certain measure of control over their parliamentarians/congresspersons who, in turn, exercise control over the nation's financial allocations. If a particular donor state, therefore, loses its belief in the ECCC process, for whatever reason, it can effectively demonstrate their opinion by discontinuing the funding of the tribunal.
Considering the above, it is insightful to examine the Co-Prosecutors' statement that they would not ignore evidence because of prevailing budgetary considerations. Quixotic as it might sound, anyone who is close enough to the process to know that evidence of probative value exists against thousands of people who might fall under 'those most responsible', particularly considering that the term is not defined by the law which established the ECCC. Since there is no question that such probative value evidence exists, the only question there is is how deep the Co-Prosecutors are willing to go and how, with no judicial guidance on the matter, they will define 'those most responsible' and try to sell that definition to the Co-Investigating Judges. If budgetary considerations are allowed to be high-handed by the prosecutorial discretion, the international public that so far has been paying for this process might find itself being in for a long, long haul without even realizing it, and the voices of the Cambodian public will not be heard, besides the Cambodian voices we have been hearing up to now and who have, in one way or another, built their careers around the tribunal.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Invitation to Attend

21 May 2008

The Pre-Trial Chamber of the ECCC has scheduled a Public Hearing of the Appeal by Ieng Thirith against the Order of Provisional Detention to open on 21 May 2008. The Chamber has decided to permit a live feed of the proceedings to be given to radio and television stations for public broadcast. Media representatives and the general public are also invited to attend in person.

The session will commence at 09.00 am on 21 May. All people must be in their designated seats 30 minutes before the opening of the session. It is recommended to arrive at the ECCC between 8.00am and 8.30am in order to leave enough time for security checking and issuance of tickets. Gates will close by 09:00 am or when all seats in the court room are fully occupied. All persons seeking admission to the ECCC must present a proof of identification (including a photo) and must pass through a security check. Please note, no persons under 18 years of age will be admitted to the court. No mobile phones, large bags, food or drink will be permitted in the main court room.

Seats in the main court room have been allocated as follows:

Media –Advance registration is required. Deadline Tuesday 20 May at 05:00 pm. If these seats are not fully utilised by 10am on the day of the hearing, they will be re-assigned to the general public. For details of media access and facilities see separate media Information Sheet or call Mao Vutha on 023 219814 extension 6166, or 011 364444
or email:

NGO representatives – 50 seats for national and international NGO representatives (maximum 2 per organisation). Advance registration is required. Deadline Tuesday 20 May at 05:00 pm. If these seats are not fully utilised by 10 am on the day of the hearing, they will be re-assigned to the general public. Express admission will be provided for those whose names have been supplied to us in advance. Please contact Chin Hemvichet on (023) 219814, extension 6065 or (012) 696 220 or email:

Groups -- 140 seats for groups (maximum 20 per group). Advance registration is required. Deadline Tuesday 20 May at 05:00 pm. If these seats are not fully utilized by 10am on the day of the hearing, they will be re-assigned to the general public. Express admission will be provided for those whose names have been supplied to us in advance. Please contact Chin Hemvichet on (023) 219814, extension 6065 or (012) 696 220 or email:

Individual members of the general public are encouraged to register in advance and will be seated on a first come, first served basis. 100 seats have been reserved. Express admission will be provided for those whose names have been supplied to us in advance. Registration in advance is required if you wish to use the ECCC free buses (see below).

Transport – the ECCC will provide free buses for media and public who do not have their own means of transport from downtown Phnom Penh to the ECCC and return. Buses will leave from in front of the main Phnom Penh Railway Station between 7.30 and 8.00am on each day of the hearing. Advance registration is required.

The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia are situated in Chaom Chau , 16 kilometres from Phnom Penh, on the left hand side of National Road 4. Public and media please enter from the Visitors Gate at the eastern end of the compound.

Facilities – Drinking water will be provided in the hallway outside the court room. No food or drink is allowed in the court room. The car parking will be provided for visitors to the ECCC with their own buses or cars. Assistance for those with disabilities will be provided, including wheelchair access.

To register for seats and transport, please contact Chin Hemvichet as follows:
Telephone: (023) 219 814, extension 6065 or (012) 696 220
Fax: (023) 219 841

Reach Sambath Presss Officer Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia Tel: (855) 12 891 567 Fax: (855) 23 219 841 Email:,

MoEYS Oks Cambodia’s Genocide History in School Curriculum

Source: Rasmei Kampuchea
By: Layum
Posted date: 07-05-2008

Phnom Penh: The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport have approved of including the study of the genocide history of Cambodia in the ministry’s school curriculum.

The decision has been made in response to an official request by Documentation Center of Cambodia Director Youk Chhang.

“The study of the history of Democratic Kampuchea, especially the Khmer Rouge’s genocide, is significantly important as the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport is also preparing a curriculum to promote the general knowledge,” said Im Sithy, Secretary of State for the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, in a letter no. 1573, dated 30 April 2008, adding that the ministry favored of the four points raised in the request.

It should be recalled that on March 6, 2008 Youk Chhang, director of the DC-Cam, submitted an official letter to the MoEYS to inform the ministry of his center’s project relating to the study of the genocide in Cambodia. The project has come to its second stage after the publication of the book, A History of Democratic Kampuchea 1975-1979.

Youk Chhang claimed that there were four tasks in the second stage: (1) preparing a teacher’s guide for teachers who teach Democratic Kampuchea history, (2) organizing a workshop to discuss with the teachers on this history book, (3) distributing Democratic Kampuchea history textbooks to students, and (4) translating the book into French, Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese and Thai.

Youk Chhang also claimed that the DC-Cam had already published another book, Buddhism Under Pol Pot. He hopes that the MoEYS will help to make the project successful and cooperate to hold a workshop on this issue.

Some primary, secondary and high school teachers told Rasmei Kampuchea on May 6 that they welcomed and supported the MoEYS’s decision to include the study of Cambodia’s genocide history, especially the study of the Khmer Rouge regime, in the school curriculum.
“History is a real science, if we talk about reality,” they said, “We should take good points and abandon or modify the bad ones.”

Unofficial Translation-Extracted from Rasmei Kampuchea, vol. 16, #4582, Wednesday, May 07, 2008.

© 2005 All rights are reserved by Open Forum of Cambodia.

Duch To Be Tried in Early 2009: Tribunal Judge

By Mean Veasna, VOA Khmer 05 May 2008

Jailed Khmer Rouge prison director Kaing Khek Iev, known to many by his nom de guerre, Duch, will be the first regime cadre to be tried, some time early next year, a tribunal judge said Monday.

You Bunleng, an investigating judge for the tribunal, said the investigation of Duch’s case will be finished this month, after which responses from lawyers will be considered before the case is submitted for trial.

If all goes smoothly, the first case against Duch can be submitted by July or August, meaning a trial could start by the end of 2008 or beginning of 2009, he said.

Duch was arrested in 1999 and held by the military courts until his transfer to tribunal detention last year.

He faces charges of crimes against humanity for his role as director of S-21, or Tuol Sleng, a prison where as many as 16,000 Cambodians were tortured and later executed in “killing fields” on the outskirts of Phnom Penh. Less than 10 survived.

“The case related to Tuol Sleng’s history is easier than others, and there is clear evidence,” said Sok Samoeun, director of the Cambodian Defenders Project. You Bunleng said Monday elements of Duch’s trial will be used in subsequent trials

Nuremberg Prosecutors on the ECCC

Television Journalist and Producer Bill Kurtis Interviews Last Three Surviving Nuremberg Trial Prosecutors About Cambodia Tribunal Now Underway
The Earth Times
Mon, 05 May 2008 16:17:57 GMT
Cambodia Tribunal Monitor

Nuremberg prosecutors Ben Ferencz, Henry King and Whitney Harris tell why Cambodia Tribunal must go forward; tie to Nuremberg precedent

CHICAGO, May 5 /PRNewswire/ -- The Cambodia Tribunal Monitor Web site today posted exclusive video interviews by TV journalist, producer and former CBS news anchor Bill Kurtis with the last three surviving prosecutors of post-World War II trials held in Nuremberg, Germany about their perspective on the upcoming Cambodia Tribunal. Senior officials of the Khmer Rouge regime are expected to be tried over the next several years for atrocity crimes in Cambodia during their 1975-79 rule. The pre-trial hearings of some of the regime leaders are currently underway.

Kurtis interviewed prosecutors Ben Ferencz, Henry King and Whitney Harris, asking them to reflect on the significance of the Nuremberg trials on international law, what lessons we learned, how far we have come and what advice they have for the Cambodia Tribunal currently underway in Phnom Penh.

Kurtis, with the consortium responsible for the Cambodia Tribunal Monitor Web site, posted these exclusive interviews with the surviving Nuremberg prosecutors on the Web site in an effort to raise awareness about the need to punish war crimes and crimes against humanity, no matter how long ago those crimes were committed.

Speaking about the significance of interviewing the Nuremberg prosecutors, Kurtis said, "These are the voices of history speaking. They provide an important historical context and precedent from the post-World War II era that can be applied to today's tribunal in Cambodia. I thought it was especially important to draw from their experience and hear their perspective, as their insights will inform the trials -- and procedures of those trials -- for today's alleged war criminals."

When Kurtis asked if it is still worth it for Cambodia to have a tribunal after 30 years since the crimes were committed, former prosecutor Ben Ferencz said, "Of course it's still worth it. Because it tells the people of Cambodia, we have not forgotten ... And we are trying, within the limits of our capacity, to recognize that what happened to you and your people and your loved ones and the victims was a crime, it was an outrage, and we will never tolerate that as an acceptable human behavior."

Henry King told Kurtis that he would offer the following advice to the Cambodia Tribunal, "Take the long view. Be persistent. Never give up. We didn't ever give up at Nuremberg ... Think of future generations ... because the weapons of destruction are becoming so violent that we'll destroy ourselves if we don't have a rule of law in the world."

From April 1975 to January 1979, an estimated 1.7 million Cambodian citizens died under the Khmer Rouge regime. After nearly 10 years of negotiations, this special war crimes tribunal has commenced. The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), as the special Cambodian court is formally known, will oversee the proceedings and is a joint partnership of the United Nations and the Royal Government of Cambodia.

Video and transcripts in English are now posted on The media will be notified when French voiceovers of the video and French transcripts of the interviews are available in the coming weeks.

Biographies of Nuremberg Prosecutors:

Benjamin Berell Ferencz: Ferencz is a graduate of Harvard Law School. Following the Nuremberg trials, Ferencz became a vocal advocate of the establishment of an international rule of law and of the International Criminal Court. From 1985 to 1996, he was Adjunct Professor of International Law at Pace University.

Henry T. King, Jr.: King is a legal practitioner and an academic writer. King received his B.A. degree in 1941 from Yale College, and his LL.B. in 1943 from Yale Law School (1943). Following his service at Nuremberg, King had a long career as counsel for several corporations, including the TRW Corporation. A former chairman of the American Bar Association's Section of International Law and Practice, he served on the ABA's special task force on war crimes in the former Yugoslavia and was the U.S. chairman of a joint working group, organized by the American, Canadian, and Mexican bar associations, on the settlement of international disputes. Currently, King teaches International Arbitration and is U.S. director of the Canada-U.S. Law Institute.

Whitney R. Harris: Harris is author of Tyranny on Trial (1954), a major book about the Nuremberg Trials. In recent years he generously funded the establishment of The Whitney R. Harris Institute for Global Legal Studies at Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, bringing together experts from around the world to expand understanding of real-world issues and prepare lawyers for the professional challenges of the 21st Century. In addition to teaching law during his post-Nuremberg career, Harris was director of the Hoover Commission's Legal Services Task Force; served as the first Executive Director of the American Bar Association; and was Solicitor General of Southwestern Bell Telephone Company in St. Louis where he practiced law until his retirement. In 1998, Harris was a non-governmental delegate to the United Nations-sponsored conference that resulted in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

Background on the Cambodia Tribunal Monitor Web site:

The Cambodia Tribunal Monitor Web site is the leading independent source of news and information on the upcoming trials of senior officials of the Khmer Rouge regime for atrocity crimes. The Web site posts timely news updates and guest commentaries by leading international experts on the recent history of Cambodia, politics, human rights and international law. It also provides background information on the history of the Khmer Rouge and ECCC and important resources such as court documents and bibliographies of scholarly articles and books. Complete videotaped trial footage will be available throughout the court proceedings.
The Cambodia Tribunal Monitor was developed by a consortium of academic, philanthropic and non-profit organizations committed to providing public access to the tribunal and open discussion throughout the judicial process. The academic manager and sponsor of the site is Northwestern University School of Law's Center for International Human Rights, joined by co-sponsors Documentation Center of Cambodia and the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center. The prime sponsor of the site is the J.B. and M.K. Pritzker Family Foundation.

The Web site was conceived by Illinois State Senator Jeff Schoenberg, a Chicago-area legislator who also advises the Pritzker family on its philanthropy. In January 2007, Schoenberg participated in a trip sponsored by Build Cambodia, a U.S. based not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping Cambodians build their lives and society. As a result of the experience, Schoenberg enlisted the support of the aforementioned sponsors, and with their assistance the Cambodia Tribunal Monitor was created.

© 2008, The Earth Times, All Rights Reserved

Ieng Sary Appeal Suspension Denied

By Mean Veasna, VOA Khmer 02 May 2008

Tribunal judges said Friday they were denying a request by Ieng Sary to have an appeals hearing suspended, while lawyers for the former foreign affairs minister say he should receive in-house detention.
Lawyers had requested a suspension of the appeal in order for Ieng Sary to recover in the hospital before proceedings against him proceed.
The courts posted an April 30 ruling on the tribunal Web site Friday, denying any suspension, but they have not yet ruled on house arrest for Ieng Sary, who suffers from heart problems and was hospitalized in March for urinating blood.

Lawyer Ang Udom said he was disappointed in the decision.

Conjugal Visits Allowed to Ieng Sary

Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia allows Iengs conjugal visits
The Mekong Times
Monday, May 5, 2008
Soun Sophalmony

The only married couple cur­rently detained by the Extraor­dinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) are to be allowed conjugal visits.

The court's Pre-Trial Chamber has accepted an appeal for visits from the lawyers of former Khmer Rouge (KR) Deputy Prime Minister Ieng Sary and Ieng Thirith the KR Minister of So­cial Affairs. The request was initially rejected by the ECCC co-investigating judges.

Ang Udom, Ieng Sary's defense law­yer, said he was unsure how long they will be allowed to spend together. Ieng Thirith's defence lawyer Phat Pouv Se-ang said that the court's internal rules stipulate 45 minutes per visit.

"Normally, in terms of families, it is difficult to live apart and not near each other, unable to see, talk and call one another," said Ang Udom. "Being apart while [one's spouse is] alive has strong psychological impacts. And it is worse for old people. It seems immoral and inhuman that the elderly should be forced to live separately from his or her children, wife or husband."

"Ieng Thirith made an oral request [to co-investigating judges] on Mar 13 to meet her husband [Ieng Sary] twice a week, but on Mar 17, co-investigat­ing judges authorized visits between Ieng Sary and Ieng Thirith once a week," said Phat Pouv Seang.

Ieng Sary and Ieng Thirith have been married for 57 years. The couple is separately detained at the ECCC un­der charges of crimes against human­ity. Ieng Sary is also charged with war crimes.

Besides the request for conjugal visits, the couple is also appealing against their year-long provisional de­tention by the court. Ieng Thirith's ap­peal hearing will be held May 21 while the date for the hearing of Ieng Sary has yet to be set.

ECCC spokesman Reach Sambath and ECCC public affairs chief Helen Jarvis could not be reached for com­ment yesterday.

Extracted from The Mekong Times
Issue No. 60
Monday, May 5, 2008

Thursday, May 1, 2008

France Adds $1 Million to Tribunal Budget

By Chiep Mony, VOA Khmer Original report from Phnom Penh25 April 2008

The French government has announced it will give $1 million to the Khmer Rouge tribunal, which continues to face a budget shortfall in its attempts to try five jailed former leaders of the regime.

“For France, justice is one of the crucial issues,” said Rama Yade, secretary of state for the French Foreign Affairs Ministry, before concluding a brief visit. “Impunity is shameful.”

Tribunal officials have said they will need as much as $114 million on top of the $56 million budgeted for the courts, if they are to continue proceedings to their conclusion, perhaps as late as 2011.

Tribunal spokesman Reach Sambath said Yade had pledged the $1 million, expected later this year, during meetings with tribunal officials.

“A pledge is encouragement for the Khmer Rouge tribunal, even though only 25 percent of its budget is pledged to support the Cambodian side” of the courts, he said.

The European Commission has contributed about $1.5 million to support the Cambodian side of the hybrid tribunal. The Cambodians have had to take sharp measures to extend their operations in the face of dwindling finances.

In March, Khmer Rouge officials led by chief administrator Sean Visoth met with donor country representatives in New York, to fill them in on the progress of the tribunal.

Donors have been reviewing the proposed extended budget of the tribunal, and following the visit tribunal officials said they were revising their proposed funding needs.

A new budget proposal would be completed by late May, Sean Visoth said Friday.

UN Insists Tribunal Strengthen Management

By Chun Sakada, VOA Khmer Original report from Phnom Penh25 April 2008

The UNDP called on Khmer Rouge tribunal administrators Friday to improve some of their operations in order for the courts to continue to meet international standards, but said a recent review had found some improvements.

A UNDP-sponsored review in February made “positive findings,” said Cambodia’s UNDP director, Jo Scheuer, said at a Press conference Friday. “The special review team noted significant improvement in all of these areas and there is no recent allegation of mismanagement in the ECCC.”

But that did not mean the management system of the courts was now perfect, he said.

The independent Open Society Justice Initiative said in 2006 the courts were facing allegations of corruption.

The corruption allegations and previous findings of poor management practices are important because donor countries like the US say the tribunal, known officially as the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, must meet international standards before more money is promised.

“There is a need for continued capacity development support to the ECCC, [so that] systems are further strengthened in order to continue to meet international standards,” Scheuer, said Friday, referring to the tribunal by its official acronym.

“The report also identifies some areas that need to be further strengthened, such as in goal setting and performance evaluation, in the conduct of job interviews, job classification and the definition of appropriate minimum qualifications for recruited positions,” he said.

The tribunal’s administrative director, Sean Visoth, said at the press conference the tribunal was “capable and committed.”

“I am not satisfied with the results of this review,” he said. “But I was always confident to say [the courts were] maybe not perfect, maybe not the best possible, but capable and committed.”

As administrative director, he had never “resisted nor rejected” proposals to address shortcomings in the courts.

“The ECCC has suffered considerable damage, including to the morale of the staff, on this issue, over the past eighteen months, following certain broad-brush allegations that were raised in late 2006 and early 2007,” he said. “These included recruitment of unqualified staff, excessive salaries and supposed kickback by judges and other officials for appointment at the ECCC.”

Cambodian judges have strongly denied they pay kickbacks in order to sit in the courts.