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Cambodia genocide trial begins  

The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia for the Prosecution of Crimes Committed began the tribunal, which comes 30 years after the extremist Khmer Rouge regime was driven out of power by Vietnamese troops. The first public hearing of the trial which is expected to last several months started on March 30. During the Khmer Rouge regime Kaing Guek Eav, known as “Duch”, was in charge of the S-21 Tuol Sleng prison in Phnom Penh the largest detention and torture centre of the Khmer Rouge. Over 12,000 people were imprisoned here and tortured and killed.  Duch is the only defendant to admit his role and is expected to give evidence against the four other elderly leaders, including Pol Pot's deputy, Nuon Chea.

The proceedings' webcasts are available here: Cambodia Tribunal Monitor

The ECCC's public sessions are available here

For more information:
   The Guardian  


UN chief Ban Ki-moon demands 
justice for the crimes of the Khmer Rouge 

On the 15th of April the tenth anniversary of the former Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot took place. The dictator known as "Brother Number One" died allegedly from heart attack in a jungle hideout on April 15, 1998

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is demanding from the Cambodian courts to return a verdict on the mass killings in the 1970s by the country's Khmer Rouge government. Ban Ki-moon appealed for the senior leaders of the regime to be brought to justice. The anniversary of Pol Pot’s death puts even more pressure on the UN-backed tribunal, Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), which has experienced a funding crisis and delays in the trials. Many people have voiced concerns that the five Khmer Rouge defendants could die before charged of their war crimes and crimes against humanity in one of the 20th century’s worst atrocities. 

Ban Ki-moon urges that the ECCC will soon deliver this "long-overdue justice for the people of Cambodia” charging the crimes committed by the Khmer Rouge. “I would like to remind the international community of the urgent importance of bringing to closure one of history’s darkest chapters,” UN chief Ban Ki-moon said in a statement. "The United Nations and the Royal Government of Cambodia remain actively engaged in efforts to hold the Khmer Rouge senior leaders and those most responsible accountable for their horrific crimes," he said.

For more information:

Phnom Penh Post


Cambodians tribunal is under threat from a massive shortfall in funding

Cambodian tribunal asks for millions of additional fund for trying the Khmer Rouge's surviving leaders in the trials. Officials from Cambodia's U.N.-backed genocide tribunal requested the United Nations and the international community for further financial support unless the “Genocide court” is facing to go bankrupt months before the first trials are expected to begin.

At least additional 114 million USD are needed to continue the trials, allow the court to employ more staff and to keep the tribunal running until 2011. Current funds for the tribunal will expire by the end of this year and without the tribunal's mayor donors (Japan, France, Britain, Germany and Australia) the court can’t continue to function. The long-delayed trials are expected to start in the end of the year, but many people fear that the senior Khmer Rouge's leaders could die before facing justice.

Five former Khmer Rouge leaders are under detention awaiting trial. The aging members have been charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity. Under them are the former foreign and social affairs ministers Ieng Sary and Ieng Thirith, along with the former head of state Khieu Samphan. But the most important prosecution will take place against the Tuol Sleng prison interrogator Kaing Guek Eav, known as "Duch" and "Brother Number Two" Nuon Chea. The first public trial, against “Duch”, is not expected to begin until October.

For more information: 

The Independent


Protests against the slow moving of trials

About 600 people, including students, nuns and Buddhist monks, protested on the 25th of December 2007 in Phnom Penh against the slow process of the trial for the Khmer Rouge leaders. The protest action in front of the tribunal's office in the Cambodian capital 

was aimed to quicken the pace of the trials before the former leaders of Khmer Rouge communist regime might die before trials are actually held. 

Estimated 1.7 million people died from starvation, disease, overwork and execution during the Khmer Rouge's rule between 1975 and 1979. The long-delayed trial is lead by the Extraordinary Chambers in the Court of Cambodia (ECCC). This special new court was created by the government and the UN in 2001 to try serious crimes committed during the Khmer Rouge regime and to seek accountability for the deaths. Until now no regime officials have faced trials for their atrocities. The first trials are expected in 2008. Five high-ranking former leaders are charged with crimes against humanity. 

● Links:
Extraordninary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia



Silence-Remained 2005-2008