Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Appeal hearing on Im Chaem dismissal concludes

Appeal hearing on Im Chaem dismissal concludes

Accused war criminal Im Chaem sits at a house in Oddar Meanchey’s Anlong Veng district in 2014.
Accused war criminal Im Chaem sits at a house in Oddar Meanchey’s Anlong Veng district in 2014. Charlotte Pert

Appeal hearing on Im Chaem dismissal concludes

Appeal hearings on the dismissal of the case against Im Chaem at the Khmer Rouge tribunal concluded today, with a decision from the panel of judges expected in the second quarter of next year.

Chaem, an alleged district secretary under the brutal Khmer Rouge regime, was charged with crimes against humanity including extermination and enslavement. Her case was dismissed by the co-investigating judges in February, prompting an appeal from the international co-prosecutor. His Cambodian counterpart, however, supported the dismissal.

Prime Minister Hun Sen has long publicly opposed trying Chaem - and any other defendants beyond the three already convicted - raising questions of political interference. A critical issue as to whether the case should proceed is determining if Chaem, as a district chief, can be considered “most responsible” for crimes committed by the regime and is therefore under the court's jurisdiction. She did not attend the hearing yesterday.

“According to the International Co-Prosecutor’s final submission, Im Chaem fits the criteria for inclusion within the ECCC’s [Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia] personal jurisdiction… through her leadership positions at the district and sector levels in both the Southwest and Northwest Zones," an ECCC press release reads. "The National Co-Prosecutor submitted that she did not fall within the ECCC’s personal jurisdiction to face prosecution.”

Civil party lawyers, meanwhile, argued yesterday that dismissing Chaem’s case from the tribunal should not prohibit another Cambodian court from taking it up, as the current dismissal judgement claims.

“The decision [on the appeal] will be final with no further appeals and would require an affirmative vote of at least four out of the five judges," today's statement reads.

MOST VIEWED

  • PM: All 10 Asean countries to receive Rainsy arrest warrants

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said on Thursday that all 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) member states will receive warrants for the arrest of Sam Rainsy. The warrants have already been sent to Laos and Thailand. He was speaking at a joint press conference at

  • Human rights report biased, says Cambodia

    Cambodia has accused the 42nd session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland on Wednesday of having “undermined the principle of objectivity”. In a statement issued on Tuesday, the Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of Cambodia to the UN said the Office of the

  • Kingdom okays 2,400MW power purchase from Laos

    A cabinet meeting on Wednesday decided that the government will purchase 2,400MW of electricity from Laos. A briefing document uploaded by government spokesman Phay Siphan to his Facebook page confirmed this. It said Cambodia will buy exclusive power from two coal-fired power plants in Laos –

  • The need to establish research universities in Cambodia

    In an era of the globalisation and internationalisation of higher education, it is difficult, if not impossible, to disregard the regional and global trend toward building world-class universities. Many governments in Asia and Africa are making significant efforts to establish research-intensive universities to catch up