Home > Khmer Rouge, Local News > Judges dismiss call to probe new KRouge case

Judges dismiss call to probe new KRouge case

PHNOM PENH (AFP) – Cambodia’s UN-backed war crimes
tribunal on Tuesday rejected demands to pursue a politically-sensitive
new Khmer Rouge case that has divided the court.
The investigating judges said the prosecution failed to follow procedure
when filing a request for unnamed suspects to be interviewed for their
alleged crimes as members of the brutal 1975-79 regime to be prosecuted.
In a written statement, the judges said international co-prosecutor
Andrew Cayley’s request was invalid because he hadn’t done the necessary
paperwork to file the requests without the backing of his national
Cayley and his Cambodian colleague Chea Leang are openly at odds over
how to proceed with the case, with Leang saying the suspects, thought to
be two ex-Khmer Rouge commanders, are outside the court’s jurisdiction.
Cayley can appeal the judges’ decision not to pursue an investigation
but the announcement appears to signal their willingness to close the
tribunal’s controversial third case, prompting fears the court is caving
to government pressure.
“The judges are using questionable legal technicalities to try to avoid
the very important substantive issues raised by Cayley,” said Anne
Heindel, a legal adviser at the Documentation Centre of Cambodia, which
researches Khmer Rouge atrocities.
“It’s the continuation of their attempts to kill case three.”
In its landmark first trial, the tribunal sentenced former prison chief
Kaing Guek Eav, better known as Duch, to 30 years in jail in July for
overseeing the deaths of 15,000 people.
That case is now under appeal, while a second trial involving four of
the regime’s most senior surviving leaders is due to start later this
A survivor of the Khmer Rouge regime Hem
Sakou, 79, stands in front of portraits of victims at the Tuol Sleng
(S-21) genocide museum in Phnom Penh May

31, 2011. She was part of the more than 300 villagers brought to the
Khmer Rouge notorious security prison S-21, now museum, by the court on a
regular tour basis. Sakou said that she found the photos of her son who
was killed at S-21, appealing to the U.N. backed tribunal to sentence
the former regime leaders in detention to life in prison for crimes they
The court is still investigating a fourth case against three more
suspects, believed to be mid-level cadres. But it too is shrouded in
secrecy and faces stiff government opposition.
Prime Minister Hun Sen has repeatedly voiced his objection to further
trials, saying they could plunge the country into civil war, and
observers widely expect the third and fourth cases to be dropped.
Led by “Brother Number One” Pol Pot, who died in 1998, the Marxist Khmer
Rouge regime emptied cities in the late 1970s in a bid to create an
agrarian utopia, executing and killing through starvation and overwork
up to two million.
Categories: Khmer Rouge, Local News
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