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

  • Phnom Penh placed in two-week lockdown

    The government has decided to place Phnom Penh in lockdown for two weeks, effective April 14 midnight through April 28, as Cambodia continues to grapple with the ongoing community outbreak of Covid-19, which has seen no sign of subsiding. According to a directive signed by Prime Minister

  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Vaccination open to foreigners in Cambodia

    The Ministry of Health on April 8 issued an announcement on Covid-19 vaccination for foreigners residing and working in Cambodia, directing the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and local authorities to register them. Health minister Mam Bun Heng, who is also head of the inter-ministerial

  • Culture ministry: Take Tuol Sleng photos down, or else

    The Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts has told Irish photographer Matt Loughrey to take down the photos of Khmer Rouge victims at Tuol Sleng Genocidal Museum which he allegedly colourised and altered to show them smiling. The ministry said Loughrey's work is unacceptable, affecting

  • Cambodia gears up for muted New Year festival

    The recent curfew and restrictions imposed in the capital and other Covid-19 hotspots were intended to break the chain of transmission, Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine said as municipal and provincial authorities issued new directives banning certain activities during the upcoming Khmer New Year

  • Covid-19 vaccination now obligatory

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on April 11 issued a sub-decree making Covid-19 vaccination compulsory for individuals unless they have a medical certificate proving they have pre-existing health conditions that prevent them from doing so. «This applies to all members of the armed forces and civil servants