Former Khmer Rouge Leaders Do Not Cooperate with the Co-Investigating Judges – Friday, 29.5.2009

Posted on 30 May 2009. Filed under: Week 614 |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 614

“The co-investigating judges of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal told journalists that four former Khmer Rouge high ranking leaders do not cooperate with the investigations.

“This statement was made by the Cambodian co-investigating judge You Bunleng in a press conference at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal on Thursday, organized by the Administration Office.

“Mr. You Bunleng told reporters, ‘Since we monitor them in detention and their defense lawyers ask questions so that they can explain some things raised by the co-investigating judges, they reject to answer by using the right to refuse to give evidence – that means there are no answers.’

However, Mr. You Bunleng did not mention the names of the four accused, but he just said he is talking about ‘the second case’ and the people can know that the second case relates to the four former Khmer Rouge leaders Khiev Samphan, Nuon Chea, Ieng Sary, and Ieng Thirith, who are now in pre-trial detention at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal.

“The co-investigating judge You Bunleng added that because the right to refuse to give evidence is an absolute right of the accused, the co-investigating judges office must use additional investigating techniques.

“Mr. You Bunleng continued to say, ‘The fact that the accused do not talk can slow the investigations, because the lawyers ask us to consider many questions when we deal with each case.’

“Regarding the timing of the investigation, Mr. You Bunleng said that it is not yet clear. By 20 May 2009, the co-investigating judges’ office has interviewed 453 witnesses, including more than 10 foreign experts.

“But in the second case, there are 61 people standing as civil plaintiffs. He went on to say that the investigations being conducted are joint investigations for all of the accused, while the 453 witnesses relate to different accused persons.

“During the questioning on Wednesday, the prosecutors of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal tried to describe former S-21 prison chief Kaing Kek Eav, alias Duch, as a person who made important and active decisions to thoroughly purge the Khmer Rouge air force in 1977 from unreliable members.

“Nevertheless, the accused, known as Duch, claimed that he only strictly followed orders from superiors for the S-21 prison, to kill hundreds of staff from the Central Committee of the Unit 502 which was located at the former Pochentong Airport – now the Phnom Penh International Airport.

“The execution lists of the S-21 Prison show that at least 299 people from the Unit 502 had been sent to the S-21 Prison and were then executed.

“According to nine letters written in 1977 by the former secretary-general of the Unit 502, Mr. Sou Met, to Duch, 50 people were mentioned. A senior assistant of the prosecutors, Mr. Alex Baid, asked Duch, ‘Did Mr. Sou Met order interrogations to gain information from some specific people detained?’

“Duch told the court that he had no direct relations with Mr. Sou Met and said that the letters of Mr. Sou Met were really written following the orders from anonymous superiors.

“Duch said, ‘Everything was sent through Son Sen or Nuon Chea in the following time. That was just Son Sen’s and Nuon Chea’s method to hide their names. Those letters were sent as if they came from Mr. Sou Met for me.’

“He added, ‘I had no direct relations with Mr. Sou Met, neither though phone nor through direct contact with him.’

“Because he was accused, according to his position from which he purged the Unit 502, Mr. Sou Met was considered by the deceased lawyer Brian Tittemore and by the Khmer Rouge historian Stephen Heder, who were former investigators of the investigating judges of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal in 2004, as one among seven persons ‘to be prosecuted.’ Being contacted repeatedly by phone on Wednesday, Mr. Sou Met rejected to talk to journalists.

“However, under questioning of the plaintiffs’ defense lawyer, Ms. Elizabeth Rabesandratana, Duch admitted that the information he offered to his superiors badly affected the victims.

“Duch said, ‘My reports did influence decisions of the superiors. However, when I met with the superiors, I was only responding to their questions.'” Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #413, 29.5.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 29 May 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #197, 29.5.2009

  • A Burmese Court Dismisses the Witnesses of Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi [the Burmese elected democracy leader]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1956, 29.5.2009

  • Cambodia Starts Implementing the Program “Stop Smoking Cigarettes to Win Rewards” for the First Time [a cigarette smoker can pair with a non-smoker in order to gain advice to stop smoking, and when they can prove they were successful and the smoker stopped smoking, they can win motorbikes or other rewards]
  • North Korea Warns to Attack US and South Korean Warships [if found in disputed regions of the sea]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #413, 29.5.2009

  • Former Khmer Rouge Leaders Do Not Cooperate with the Co-Investigating Judges
  • UNESCO Will Assess the Impacts on the Angkor Wat Temple in Late May [from electricity wireing – according to an official of UNESCO for Cambodia]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6662, 29.5.2009

  • The 17th ASEAN-Europe Foreign Affairs Ministerial Meeting in Phnom Penh [focused on six [???] major points: the economic and financial crisis, climate and environmental changes, food security and energy, the spread of weapons and the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, social security, and infectious diseases]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3770, 29.5.2009

  • [UN co-investigating judge] Marcel Lemonde Warns He Might Walk Out from the Khmer Rouge Trial [because of many issues, including the not neutrally clarified kickback corruption allegations relating to officials on the Cambodian side]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4906, 29.5.2009

  • [The Phnom Penh governor] Mr. Kep Chuktema Sues [the president of the Sam Rainsy Party] Mr. Sam Rainsy for Defamation [Mr. Sam Rainsy said that the governor is behind the buying of votes of some Sam Rainsy Party commune councilors]
  • At Least 50,000 Garment Workers Lose Jobs [and the jobless workers lose more than US$2 million per month]
  • A New Record at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court: An Accused Is Sentenced to Serve 84 Years in Prison and Another One 98 Years Starting from the Day of Arrest [for conducting 14 robberies]
  • Cambodia Wants Poland to Help to Train how to Conserve Musical Records and Films
  • America Praises Health Organizations in Cambodia for Promoting Women’s Health
  • Korean Volunteers Still Work Actively [in Cambodia] in 2009 despite the Global Economic Crisis [since 2003, 173 Korean volunteers have been sent by the South Korean government to work at different institutions of Cambodia]
  • Almost 100% of Enterprises in Cambodia Are Small and Medium Scale Enterprises [according to the Ministry of Commerce]

Have a look at the last editorial – you can access it directly from the main page of the Mirror.

And please recommend us also to your colleagues and friends.

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