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Expert witness Alexander Hinton gives testimony before the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia earlier this year. ECCC
Expert witness Alexander Hinton gives testimony before the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia earlier this year. ECCC

Prosecution rebuts filing over expert witness

The prosecution at the Khmer Rouge tribunal has hit back at a call from Nuon Chea’s defence team for expert witness Alexander Hinton to yield his primary source research to the trial chamber.

In a filing dated May 19, the prosecution said the defence’s request “should be denied”, saying it was “untimely” and was so broad it would amount to a “fishing expedition”.

Hinton, who is the director of Rutgers University Newark’s Centre for the Study of Genocide and Human Rights, testified in March about the anthropological research that shaped his book, Why Did They Kill?

The defence had claimed Hinton did not give specific information on his sources, but according to his testimony, Hinton was unable to reveal the identity of an interviewee without their approval or consultation with his university due to academic protocols.

The prosecution maintained the defence’s request could delay proceedings. “Nuon Chea’s assertion that ‘there is simply no evidence that Hinton actually conducted field research in Cambodia’ is not credible,” the prosecution’s filing reads.

Hinton declined to comment.

Meanwhile, after a lengthy debate yesterday during the tribunal’s first hearing in two weeks, the court announced it would adjourn for a further two weeks to allow parties to review additional evidence in the ongoing Case 002/02 ahead of the testimony of S-21 prison director Kaing Geuk Eav, better known as Duch.

“The chamber will hear [a witness] for three days” starting June 2, said trial chamber president Nil Nonn. “Duch will then be questioned by all parties.”

The appearance from Duch – who was convicted in Case 001 – will be his second as a witness in Case 002 against Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan.

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