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Im Chem ‘expecting arrest soon’

Khmer Rouge tribunal Case 004 suspect Im Chem said yesterday that she expects to be arrested in the next few days, a move that would put to an end years of speculation as to whether the court would move forward with its government-opposed Cases 003 and 004.

Chem said yesterday that her lawyer had informed her that her arrest was imminent, but that she did not know exactly when it would happen.

“I got the rumour that the Khmer Rouge tribunal will come to my house in the next two days. Even if they come to arrest me and take me to the court, I won’t go, because I did nothing wrong, and I will not flee from my home,” Chem said. “I am not worried about this, because I have denied their accusations since the beginning.”

Chem’s lawyer, Bit Seanglim, declined to comment yesterday, and court legal communications officer Lars Olsen said he was unable to confirm whether an arrest was pending for any suspect in Case 004.

However, Panhavuth Long, a program officer for the Cambodian Justice Initiative, said that Chem had failed to comply with previous summonses to hear her charges read, and that after three such failures, the court could issue an arrest order.

Since the government has previously said it will not proceed with Chem’s case, it remains to be seen if authorities would comply with an order from the court seeking her arrest, he added.

“The problem is whether or not there is cooperation from the national side,” he said, referring to the sometimes fractious relationship between the international and Cambodian sides of the hybrid court.



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