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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Appeal hearings set to resume at KRT today

Khmer Rouge Tribunal officers speak at a press briefing yesterday.
Khmer Rouge Tribunal officers speak at a press briefing yesterday. ECCC

Appeal hearings set to resume at KRT today

With appeals in the Khmer Rouge Tribunal’s Case 002/01 set to resume today, defendants Khieu Samphan and Nuon Chea are in “stable” health, and are expected to be in attendance, court officials told reporters yesterday.

Speaking at a press briefing, court legal communications officer Lars Olsen stated that both convicted parties are expected to be present in the courtroom, in spite of recent absences.

“Over the past month, their health condition has been stable, there have been no hospitalisations,” he said.

Chea, who is 89 years old, has been largely absent from proceedings this year due to health reasons.

Olsen also stated that while the court had confirmation that Samphan would address the chamber on the final day of hearings, there was “no information” as to whether Chea would do the same. Chea defender Victor Koppe could not be reached for comment.

The hearings, which will take place over three days, will cover a number of arguments relating to the fairness of proceedings, the trial chamber’s treatment of evidence and the appropriateness of the convictions and sentencing.

The Chea defence has submitted 223 grounds for appeal, while the Samphan team has submitted 148.

The prosecution will also be making an appeal to allow the court to prosecute for “Joint Criminal Enterprise 3” (JCE3) liability, a mode of criminal responsibility in which the members of a criminal enterprise are not only responsible for the policies they implemented directly, but also for those policies’ foreseeable consequences.

“When people agree to ethnically cleanse a village or a region of the country, they don’t agree, for example, [on] the implementation of rape, but it is foreseeable that this would occur,” explained Volker Nerlich, senior legal officer for the Supreme Court Chamber. Under JCE3, he added, “responsibility is assigned for both”.

Meanwhile, Olsen addressed questions regarding the court’s budget for 2016-2017, which is “currently being assessed” by donor countries.

“There are few pledges for next year . . . It is clearly a challenge for the court to secure funding for next year,” he said.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has also brought the tribunal’s budget before the UN General Assembly, requesting that a $25 million “line of credit” be made available to fund the court, Olsen said.

Dim Sovannarom, chief of the court’s Public Affairs Section, said the court expects 1,200 visitors over the three days despite having to turn away some 900 requests due the parking lot being flooded.

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