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Hearing on Evidence Week 14
Week Ending April 20, 2012
After a short break for the Khmer New Year, trial resumed on 18 April with Nuon Chea momentarily breaking his silence to read a statement in response to the testimony of Kaing Guek Eav alias “Duch.” In Nuon Chea’s statement, he accused Duch of lying, and categorically denied that he was the latter’s superior during the DK regime. At the end of his statement, he expressed that he would not answer questions. Despite objections from the OCP and the CPLCL, who demanded that Nuon Chea answer their queries, the Trial Chamber acknowledged the primacy of the right of the Accused to remain silent as prescribed under Article 35 new (g) of the ECCC Law. However, the Trial Chamber ruled that it may take Nuon Chea’s selective exercise of this right into consideration when determining the evidentiary weight of his testimony.
Hearing on Evidence — Week 13
Week Ending 10 April, 2012
This week, the Ieng Sary and Khieu Samphan Defense Teams examined witness Kaing Guek Eav, alias “Duch.” In a highly-charged inquiry that was fraught with numerous objections and non-responsive answers, Ieng Sary’s international counsel, Mr. Michael Karnavas, questioned Duch on his previous statements. Karnavas sought to prove that the Witness was merely a mid-level cadre who did not personally know how the leaders of Democratic Kampuchea made decisions. Karnavas submitted that Duch gained his knowledge about the regime, not contemporaneously but from his personal research for Case 001. Counsel further averred that Duch never had any interactions with Ieng Sary or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA). Khieu Samphan’s international counsel, Mr. Arthur Vercken, aimed to show that his client had nothing to do with confessions, and that Duch’s statements relating to Khieu Samphan were either hearsay, mere assumptions, or based on information obtained from inadmissible S-21 confessions. He also pointed out inconsistencies in Duch’s statements. As Vercken finished his examination earlier than anticipated, the Chamber allowed Nuon Chea’s national counsel, Mr. Son Arun, to ask questions and conclude his own examination of the Witness. Upon the conclusion of Duch’s testimony, the Chamber announced a short recess for the Khmer New Year, with proceedings to resume on 18 April 2012.
Hearing on Evidence Week 11 – Examination of Kaing Guek Eav
Week Ending March 29, 2012
This week, the Co-Prosecutors proceeded with the examination of Kaing Guek Eav, alias “Duch,” on the administrative and communication structures of the CPK and the DK regime, as well as the roles of the three Accused. Duch was the chairperson of S-21, a security center where over 12,200 persons were imprisoned, tortured and executed. He was the first to have been charged before the ECCC, and was found guilty of crimes against humanity and war crimes. On appeal, the Supreme Court Chamber sentenced him to life imprisonment.
Hearing on Evidence Week 10 – Reception of Testimonial Evidence
Week Ending March 22, 2012
This week marked the beginning of reception of testimonial evidence on the administrative structure (central and national) and the communication structure in the DK regime, as well as the roles of the Accused. The OCP, through national counsel, Mr. Seng Bunkheang, and international counsel, Mr. William Smith, examined Kaing Guek Eav alias “Duch” on the latter’s membership to the CPK, his roles and duties within the party and his continued affiliation with it after 1979. Duch was the Secretary of the notorious S-21 security center, an interrogation and execution machinery in Democratic Kampuchea. For his acts, he was tried, convicted, and sentenced to life imprisonment for war crimes and crimes against humanity. For Case 002, he has returned to court, not as an accused, but as a witness who is in a unique position to shed light on what took place during this dark time in Cambodia’s history. The OCP questioned Duch on (i) his recruitment and affiliation to the CPK (ii) his work as a party member, (iii) his arrest in 1999; and (iv) CPK ideology; and (v) CPK policies.
Prosecutor v Kaing Guek Eav, alias ‘Duch’ Report #22
Final Weekly Report Summary, Week Ending December 6, 2009
The following report provides an overview of the proceedings in the Duch trial, with a view to summarizing the “lessons learned” from the ECCC’s first case, both for future cases at the Court and at international(ized) tribunals generally. Where deemed relevant by the Cambodian monitors attending the proceedings, comment on the “lessons learned” for the Cambodian national sector has also been included in this report.
Prosecutor v Kaing Guek Eav, alias ‘Duch’ Report #21
Week Ending September 20, 2009
Case 001’s substantive hearing came to a close on Wednesday, about 7 months after the trial’s commencement. Its conclusion was marked by a distinctly emotive presentation and course of questioning by International Defense Counsel Francois Roux. This ended with Duch welcoming visits to him by victims, declaring that “I open the door to [the victims] emotionally. I would like to express [my] inner emotion[s]…so that they can see my true self.” Particularly resonant were observations by this week’s 3 distinguished expert witnesses on the overarching significance of this justice process, coming as they did in the final stages of the ECCC’s first trial. The trial’s potentially positive contribution to national reconciliation was a theme that ran throughout their testimonies.
Prosecutor v Kaing Guek Eav, alias ‘Duch’ Report #20
Week Ending September 4, 2009
As scheduled, the examination of witnesses testifying about the Accused Person’s Character commenced this week. The proceedings saw the attendance of expert psychologists as well as former friends and colleagues of the Accused. The psychologists explained that the analysis they had employed when examining Duch utilized a “geopolitical method” of assessment, which took into account the social and political context at the time the alleged crimes were committed.
Prosecutor v Kaing Guek Eav, alias ‘Duch’ Report #19
Week Ending August 30, 2009
The role of Civil Parties took centre stage this week, as Civil Party lawyers and the Defense met head on over an array of legal issues concerning Civil Parties. Though their primary function is to establish the guilt of the Accused, the Co-Prosecutors too were asked in their capacity as officers of the Court to contribute to the debates.
Prosecutor v Kaing Guek Eav, alias ‘Duch’ Report #18
Week Ending August 23, 2009
This 17th week of Duch’s trial marked the beginning of a two-week period allocated for the hearing of Civil Parties’ testimonies. Thirteen Civil Parties took the stand and recounted the loss of their loved ones to the crimes committed at S 21. All Civil Parties expressed their experience of intense sorrow flowing from the demise of their family members.
Prosecutor v Kaing Guek Eav, alias ‘Duch’ Report #17
Week Ending August 14, 2009
Over the course of this 3-day court week, the Chamber heard a total of 12 witness testimonies, 3 oral and 9 written. The Chamber’s decision to read into the record written witness statements (or summaries of statements) continues to prove valuable to the overall expeditiousness of the proceedings. One concern raised by the International Co-Prosecutor concerning the reading of witness statements was that the Accused’s waiver of his right to summon witnesses in specific circumstances pursuant Internal Rule 84(1) had not been properly obtained. The Chamber promptly put the matter to rest, holding that the Accused had provided the requisite waiver at previous trial management meetings.