Life Sentences Upheld Against Khmer Rouge Leaders (Tribunal Updates)

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Life Sentences Upheld Against Khmer Rouge Leaders (Tribunal Updates)

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Life Sentences Upheld Against Khmer Rouge Leaders

by George Wright and Colin Meyn | November 23, 2016

Four decades after the Khmer Rouge came to power, Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan on Wednesday became the first senior regime leaders to have been handed a final guilty verdict for their responsibility for crimes committed during Pol Pot’s brutal rule over Cambodia.

After being found guilty of crimes against humanity by the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia’s Trial Chamber in August 2014, both defense teams filed lengthy appeals and the Khmer Rouge leaders were still legally presumed innocent until a verdict was reached by the Supreme Court Chamber.

Full-story.....https://www.cambodiadaily.com/breakingn ... rs-120914/
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Re: Life Sentences Upheld Against Khmer Rouge Leaders

Post by CEOCambodiaNews »

Verdict Bittersweet for Victims
Victims of the genocidal Khmer Rouge yesterday expressed relief after the Khmer Rouge tribunal upheld the life sentences of two Khmer Rouge leaders, but admitted that their convictions did little to quell the pain of losing loved ones.

For many, the verdict was bittersweet. While many were happy that justice was finally served, with Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan having to spend the rest of their lives behind bars, many were also still grieving, having been reminded of the dark era from 1975 to 1979.

“I am ecstatic with the court decision that put them in jail for life,” 64-year-old Siek Ny from Pursat province, where the notorious Tuol Po Chrey execution camp was located, told Khmer Times. “I totally don’t want to see such a regime reoccur.

“But it is also very painful because I remember when my brother and nephews were brought to be killed.”

The UN-backed Khmer Rouge tribunal’s Supreme Court Chamber yesterday upheld the life sentences for Mr. Chea and Mr. Samphan and also affirmed most of their convictions.

However, several convictions in relation to the crimes against humanity of extermination and persecution on political grounds, as well as crimes against humanity allegedly committed at the Tuol Po Chrey execution site, were reversed...
http://www.khmertimeskh.com/news/32366/ ... r-victims/
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Re: Life Sentences Upheld Against Khmer Rouge Leaders

Post by CEOCambodiaNews »

Kiwi lawyer gives his take on the Khmer Rouge trials where he worked as a UN intern in 2016.

NEW ZEALAND | NZ Herald In-Depth
Whanganui lawyer Elliot Copeland says the Khmer Rouge Trials were an eye-opener
17 Dec, 2017 12:00pm
He thought he'd be a "shoo-in" for a position teaching English in Japan, but Elliot Copeland missed out and instead found himself in the thick of a humanity, war crimes and genocide trial.

Now a lawyer in Whanganui, from February to August 2016 Elliot worked as a United Nations intern on the Khmer Rouge Trials in Cambodia's capital Phnom Penh. The experience was an eye-opener, with a stark contrast between the often chilling work and the beauty of the country and its people.

The trials are being conducted by the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), a special Cambodian court which receives international assistance through the United Nations Assistance to the Khmer Rouge Trials (UNAKRT).

Elliot's internship was in the Office of the Co-Investigating Judges (OCIJ) whose role is to investigate alleged war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in the period from April 17, 1975 to January 6, 1979 and submit a closing order stating whether or not a case will proceed to trial...
Full article: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz-herald-in- ... d=11958948
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Re: Life Sentences Upheld Against Khmer Rouge Leaders

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September 28, 2018
ECCC to announce next verdict

The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia on November 16 will announce its judgement on former Khmer Rouge leaders Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan for case 002/02.

Mr Chea and Mr Samphan stand accused of crimes against humanity, genocide and grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions.

In a statement on Wednesday, the ECCC said that it will announce a summary of findings and dispositions for case 002/02.

Both men face charges for the genocide of the Cham and Vietnamese ethnic minorities in Cambodia during the rule of the Khmer Rouge.

During the trial, the judges heard the testimony of 185 individuals, including 114 witnesses, 63 civil organisations and eight experts.
https://www.khmertimeskh.com/50537597/e ... t-verdict/
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Re: Life Sentences Upheld Against Khmer Rouge Leaders

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There will be a press conference held today.

Cambodia’s Tribunal Court to Hold Press Briefing on the Upcoming Judgment in Case 002/02 against Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan

15/11/18 08:05
Phnom Penh (FN), Nov. 14 – In advance of the Trial Chamber’s pronouncement on 16 November 2018 of a summary of the findings and the disposition of the Judgment for Case 002/02 concerning the Accused NUON Chea and KHIEU Samphan, representatives of national and international media are cordially invited to a press briefing with the spokesperson from the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia to be held on Thursday, 15 November 2018 from 10am to 11am at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) at National Road 4, Chaom Chau, Porsenchey, Phnom Penh, ECCC wrote in its media advisory dated on Wednesday.
=FRESH NEWS
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Re: Life Sentences Upheld Against Khmer Rouge Leaders

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After 40 years, Cambodia's Khmer Rouge leaders face genocide verdict
HE government's interference and lengthy court process widely criticized
GEORGE WRIGHT, Contributing writer
November 15, 2018 12:45 JST
PHNOM PENH -- The Khmer Rouge tribunal will on Friday announce whether two surviving leaders of the Pol Pot regime are guilty of genocide -- a verdict that many expect will deliver some long-awaited justice for the estimated 1.7 million Cambodians who were executed or died from disease, overwork or starvation between 1975 and 1979.

While the judgment is seen as a landmark moment for the Southeast Asian nation, the fact that it has been almost 40 years since the Khmer Rouge fell from power has drawn widespread criticism of a judicial process plagued by delays.

Prime Minister HE's government is also accused of repeatedly trying to influence the judges in a bid to stop the court from looking into mid-ranking cadres -- including the prime minister himself.

Nuon Chea, the 92-year-old former deputy to Pol Pot, and the regime's head of state, Khieu Samphan, 87, are on trial for genocide against Cambodia's Cham Muslims and ethnic Vietnamese among other crimes against humanity relating to prisons, worksites, forced marriages and sexual violence.

The pair were already sentenced to life in 2014 for crimes against humanity in a first trial that focused largely on the forced evacuation of Cambodia's urban areas as the Khmer Rouge embarked on its extreme agrarian revolution.

For many Cambodians, interest in the tribunal -- officially known as the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia -- has waned considerably since the earlier trial.

"That's not because people don't believe in justice, but because the judgment in 2014 was sufficient as they were put in jail for their lifetime," said Youk Chhang, executive director of the Documentation Center of Cambodia. "The November 16 judgment is rather a historical moment for Cambodia in [the] eyes of the international community, [acknowledging] that a genocide took place in Cambodia."
https://asia.nikkei.com/Spotlight/Hun-S ... e-verdict2
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Re: Life Sentences Upheld Against Khmer Rouge Leaders

Post by CEOCambodiaNews »

GUILTY.

Khmer Rouge leaders found guilty of genocide in landmark ruling
AFP•November 16, 2018
Two top leaders of Cambodia's Khmer Rouge regime were found guilty of genocide on Friday, in a landmark ruling almost 40 years after the fall of a brutal regime that presided over the deaths of a quarter of the population.

The Khmer Rouge's former head of state Khieu Samphan, 87, and "Brother Number 2" Nuon Chea, 92, are the two most senior living members of the ultra-Maoist group that seized control of Cambodia from 1975-1979.

The reign of terror led by "Brother Number 1" Pol Pot left some two million Cambodians dead from overwork, starvation and mass executions but Friday's ruling was the first to acknowledge a genocide.

The defendants were previously handed life sentences in 2014 over the violent and forced evacuation of Phnom Penh in April 1975.

But Friday's judgement at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) also found Nuon Chea guilty of genocide against the ethnic Vietnamese and Cham Muslim minority group, among a litany of other crimes.

"The chamber finds that Nuon Chea exercised ultimate decision-making power with Pol Pot and... therefore finds Nuon Chea is responsible as a superior for all the crimes," presiding judge Nil Nonn said.

"This includes the crime of genocide by killing members of Cham ethnic and religious group."

Khieu Samphan was also found guilty of genocide against ethnic Vietnamese, though not against the Cham, he added.

Both parties were sentenced to "life in prison", merging the two sentences into a single term, Nil Nonn said.

Hundreds of people, including dozens of Cham Muslims and Buddhist monks, were bussed into the tribunal, located in the outskirts of Phnom Penh to attend the hearing.

The events covered by the verdict span the four years of the Pol Pot regime, and include extensive crimes against humanity.

"The verdict is essentially the Nuremberg judgement for the ECCC and thus carries very significant weight for Cambodia, international criminal justice, and the annals of history," said David Scheffer, who served as the UN secretary general's special expert on the Khmer Rouge trials from 2012 until last month.

The revolutionaries who tried to recreate Buddhist-majority Cambodia in line with their vision of an agrarian Marxist utopia attempted to abolish class and religious distinctions by force.

Forced marriages, rape, the treatment of Buddhists, and atrocities that were carried out in prisons and work sites throughout the country fall under the additional list of charges -- which the two men were found guilty of as well.

"(The verdict) will affirm the collective humanity of the victims and give recognition to the horrible suffering," said Youk Chhang, head of the Documentation Center of Cambodia -- a research organisation that has provided the court with evidence.

It could also "provide a sense of closure to a horrible chapter in Cambodian history".
https://www.yahoo.com/news/khmer-rouge- ... 58773.html
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Re: Life Sentences Upheld Against Khmer Rouge Leaders

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Khmer Rouge’s slaughter in Cambodia is ruled a genocide
By Hannah Beech
November 16, 2018

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia — Many of the foot soldiers for the Khmer Rouge remain in Cambodia’s remote reaches, each with a chronicle of the horror-soaked years in which Pol Pot and his Communist disciples turned the country into a deadly laboratory for agrarian totalitarianism.

Mea Chrun, a former bodyguard in the Khmer Rouge, lives in the jungle-choked hills of northern Cambodia, in Anlong Veng. He is matter-of-fact about the weight of the slaughter committed in the late 1970s. “I think that 1 million people were killed,” he said. “Don’t say 3 million.”

On Friday morning — four decades after a total of at least 1.7 million people, a fifth of Cambodia’s population, were culled by execution, overwork, disease, and famine — an international tribunal for the first time declared that the Khmer Rouge committed genocide against the Muslim Cham minority and ethnic Vietnamese.

The panel also issued guilty verdicts against the two most senior surviving members of the regime, Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan, now 92 and 87 respectively.

Nuon Chea was found guilty of genocide against both the Cham and Vietnamese, and Khieu Samphan against just the Vietnamese. The pair were found guilty of various crimes against humanity and grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions. And they were sentenced to life imprisonment, the same sentence they had received in an earlier trial.

In dry legal prose that did not camouflage the violent class struggle waged by the Khmer Rouge, the verdict repeated certain words: murder, extermination, enslavement, imprisonment, torture, persecution on political grounds, and other inhumane acts against human dignity.

Detailed instances of forced labor, such as the building of dams and dikes at the threat of death, were enumerated, along with forms of torture ranging from suffocation by plastic bags to the extraction of toenails and fingernails.
Full article: https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/world/ ... P/amp.html
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Re: Life Sentences Upheld Against Khmer Rouge Leaders

Post by CEOCambodiaNews »

There is a lot of international media interest in the verdict and sentencing in this trial, particularly from Australia. The Australians have not forgotten that two Australian citizens were captured and killed by the Khmer Rouge while inadvertently sailing through Cambodian waters on a yacht.
Former Khmer Rouge leader Nuon Chea, who has been found guilty of genocide in Cambodia, was ultimately responsible for the deaths of two Australian yachtsmen.
Updated 9 hours ago

The man ultimately responsible for the deaths of two Australian yachtsmen who were killed by the Khmer Rouge in the late 1970s, has been found guilty of genocide and sentenced to life imprisonment. Nuon Chea was on Friday found guilty in a United Nations-backed and partly Australian funded court, of genocide committed against the Muslim Chams and ethnic Vietnamese. The court also heard he was ultimately responsible for issuing orders carried out at the S-21 torture and extermination centre.

Australians Ronald Keith Dean and David Lloyd Scott were seized after their yacht strayed into Cambodian waters, alongside other Westerners. They were taken to S-21, forced to confess to being a part of a CIA plot and executed alongside ethnic Vietnamese. "The chamber finds that several grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions were also perpetrated against this group at S-21," Judge Nil Nonn said on Friday, "including wilful killing, torture, inhumane treatment, and wilfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health."
Dean, a 35-year-old Sydney hotel worker and Scott, about the same age and from Western Australia, were taken from the port town of Sihanoukville on the orders of Meas Muth, chief of the Khmer Rouge Navy. A guard testified that a shackled prisoner, probably Australian, was forced to sit, then had a tyre soaked in petrol pulled over him and lit.

A judicial investigation by the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) into Meas Muth was concluded in January last year, after he was charged. Key allegations include genocide and homicide. However, his case is yet to come to trial. International judges want the trial to proceed while the Cambodian judges reportedly do not.
https://www.sbs.com.au/news/aust-link-i ... ide-ruling
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Re: Life Sentences Upheld Against Khmer Rouge Leaders

Post by CEOCambodiaNews »

Khmer Rouge verdict: 'I live next to my torturer'
16 November 2018
After 12 years in operation, the UN-backed Khmer Rouge Tribunal in Cambodia on Friday delivered what will likely be its final verdict. But away from the courtroom, some survivors of one of the 20th Century's greatest horrors are ambivalent about the tribunal's legacy, reports George Wright from Phnom Penh.

Like many 60-year-old men in rural Cambodia, Srei Than can often be found relaxing and drinking beer with friends outside his home. But when he locks eyes with Soy Sen, who lives a short motorcycle ride away down a dusty lane, he quickly looks away.

"Whenever I see him, he walks away," Sen says.

There's good reason for this.

In 1974, when Sen was just 14, Khmer Rouge guerrillas took control of his hometown in Takeo province, to the south of the capital Phnom Penh. It was a year before they would topple the US-backed government and unleash a four-year reign of terror across the country.

Sen was sent to Kraing Ta Chan prison by the radical communists. He believes it was down to his father being a local official in the district they had just captured.

Upon entering the prison, Sen quickly realised the horrors that were unfolding there, including murder, torture and cannibalism.
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-46233582
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