Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Case 002: Day 2

Case 002: Day 2

Case 002: Day 2

THE Khmer Rouge tribunal continued today with the second day of hearings in the trial of the four most senior surviving leaders of Democratic Kampuchea, with debate focusing largely on the 1996 pardon and amnesty granted to former KR foreign minister Ieng Sary.

In addition to Ieng Sary and his wife, former KR social action minister Ieng Thirith, the case also features former KR head of state Khieu Samphan and Brother Number 2 Nuon Chea.

For the second day in a row, Nuon Chea left the hearing early in the morning, telling the judges that he would return to the Trial Chamber when his own case was considered. Today’s hearing instead focused on Ieng Sary, who received a pardon signed by then-King Norodom Sihanouk upon defecting to the government in 1996.

Sihanouk pardoned Ieng Sary in relation to his 1979 conviction at the People’s Revolutionary Tribunal, where he was sentenced to death in absentia along with regime leader Pol Pot, and granted him amnesty from prosecution under the 1994 Law to Outlaw the Democratic Kampuchea Group, which criminalised membership in the Khmer Rouge.

In a decision earlier this year, the court’s Pre-Trial Chamber ruled that this pardon and amnesty were no bar to Ieng Sary’s current prosecution.

The pardon, they said, related only to Ieng Sary’s 1979 conviction in absentia at the People’s Revolutionary Tribunal, set up shortly after the Khmer Rouge; the amnesty, they said, applied only to the 1994 law and not to the charges under domestic and international law that Ieng Sary currently faces at the tribunal.

However, this ruling is not binding on the court’s Trial Chamber, and defence lawyers argued today that the tribunal could not prosecute him.

“Mr Ieng Sary negotiated that he would only reintegrate [with the Cambodian government] if he received an amnesty from any future prosecutions for any alleged acts,” defence lawyer Ang Udom said. “This was a non-negotiable condition.”

Prosecutors argued, however, that the amnesty did not apply to genocide and other charges listed in the current indictment against Ieng Sary, and in any case, that amnesties may not be given under international law for crimes of such gravity.

MOST VIEWED

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty

  • Long way to go before Cambodia gets a ‘smart city’

    Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang will struggle to attain smart city status without adopting far reaching master plans, according to officials tasked with implementing the program. The brainchild of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), the smart city program seeks to link up

  • Ministry’s plan for net sparks fears

    The government has ordered all domestic and international internet traffic in the Kingdom to pass through a Data Management Centre (DMC) that has been newly created by the state-owned Telecom Cambodia, in a move some have claimed is an attempt to censor government critics. Spokesman

  • China-Cambodia tourism forum held

    The Cambodian tourism sector must be prepared to welcome a growing number of Chinese tourists, as they lead the globe in the number of outbound travellers and were responsible for the most visitors to the Kingdom last year, the country’s tourism minister said on