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
Ban Ki-moon demands
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
died allegedly from heart attack in a jungle
hideout on April 15, 1998.
Ban Ki-moon is demanding from the Cambodian courts to return a verdict
mass killings in the 1970s by the country's Khmer Rouge government. Ban
appealed for the senior leaders of the regime to be brought to justice.
anniversary of Pol Pot’s death puts even more pressure on the UN-backed
tribunal, Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC),
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
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
for the people of Cambodia” charging the crimes committed by the Khmer
would like to remind the international community of the urgent
bringing to closure one of history’s darkest chapters,” UN chief Ban
said in a statement. "The United
Nations and the Royal Government of
Cambodia remain actively engaged in efforts to hold the Khmer Rouge
leaders and those most responsible accountable for their horrific
under threat from a massive shortfall in funding
Cambodian tribunal asks for millions of additional fund for
the Khmer Rouge's surviving
leaders in the trials. Officials
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.
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
could die before facing justice.
Khmer Rouge leaders are under
detention awaiting trial. The aging members have been charged with war
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
Samphan. But the most important prosecution will take place against the
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
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
trial for the Khmer Rouge leaders. The protest action in front of the
office in the Cambodian capital
was aimed to quicken the pace of the
before the former leaders of Khmer Rouge communist regime might die
trials are actually held.
Estimated 1.7 million people died from
overwork and execution during the Khmer Rouge's rule between 1975 and
long-delayed trial is lead by the Extraordinary Chambers in the Court
Cambodia (ECCC). This special new court was created by the government
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
trials for their atrocities. The first trials are expected in 2008.
former leaders are charged with crimes against humanity.
the Courts of Cambodia