Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Chaem ruling to be appealed




Chaem ruling to be appealed

International Co-Prosecutor Nicholas Koumjian seen during an ECCC hearing in 2015. Nhet Sok Heng/ECCC
International Co-Prosecutor Nicholas Koumjian seen during an ECCC hearing in 2015. Nhet Sok Heng/ECCC

Chaem ruling to be appealed

The Khmer Rouge tribunal’s international co-prosecutor said he will appeal the investigating judges’ decision to dismiss the case against Im Chaem on the grounds that she was not a senior leader and could not be tried as one of those “most responsible” for the crimes under the regime.

The judges said the former Preah Netr Preah district secretary “had the authority to order executions” and was a “trusted and close aide” of Ta Mok, known as “the butcher”, who purged Khmer Rouge soldiers. Yet ultimately – in a document that was largely censored – they deemed Chaem too lowly in the Khmer Rouge leadership to face the court.

In a document made public on Friday, International Co-Prosecutor Nicholas Koumjian notified the tribunal that he intended to appeal that decision. However, the co-prosecutor declined to comment on the appeal, saying the matter was “covered by orders of confidentiality”.

Koumjian’s move goes against the grain of not only the investigating judges but also his Cambodian counterpart. Since December last year, National Co-Prosecutor Chea Leang has argued that Chaem fell outside the jurisdiction of the tribunal.

Chaem’s defence lawyer, Bit Seanglim, declined to comment, but her legal team in a statement last week urged Koumjian to “appropriately consider and weigh the interests of justice and of Ms. Im Chaem in deciding whether or not to pursue an appeal”.

“[A]n appeal is unlikely to respect the boundaries of the law and would weigh heavily against the interests of justice as a whole, including our client’s right to a fair and expeditious trial.”

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.