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

  • All inbound flights set to face added scrutiny

    Ministry of Health spokesperson Or Vandine said on Monday that the ministry is monitoring all inbound flights, after it was announced that only those from Malaysia and Indonesia will be temporarily cancelled from August 1. Vandine said on Monday that the two countries were identified as

  • Flights from Indonesia, Malaysia cancelled

    A Ministry of Health official has warned of the possibility of Covid-19 spreading through community transmission after the total infected cases in the Kingdom rose to 225. Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine told reporters on Saturday that the possibility of community transmission cannot be overlooked and that

  • Man in quarantine dies of ‘overdose’

    The Ministry of Health on Thursday said a Cambodian migrant worker who died while being isolated at a quarantine centre in Tbong Khmum province’s Kroch Chhmar district may have died from syncope or overdose of tablets. In a statement, the ministry said the 21-year-old

  • Ministry set to reopen 20 schools in August

    The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport will allow 20 high-safety-standards schools to reopen next month despite new cases of Covid-19 in the country. Ministry spokesperson Ros Soveacha wrote in a Telegram message on Wednesday that the schools are in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang.