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

  • Kingdom’s domestic milk still cannot compete with imports

    Price competition and a lack of confidence by consumers are the main reasons the dairy market cannot compete with imports, said domestic milk producers. The large displays of imported fresh milk at the Kingdom’s supermarkets present a cumbersome obstacle for local producers, they said.

  • ‘Pesticide-laden cucumbers’ kill two, poison 150 in Banteay Meanchey

    At least two youths have died and 243 others are being treated for vomiting, diarrhoea, breathing difficulties, dizziness and muscle weakness after they ate cucumbers suspected to consist of pesticides. The incident happened on Saturday, said Banteay Meanchey provincial police chief Ath Khem. He told The

  • Three dead, 13 injured in collapse at Siem Reap pagoda

    At least three people were killed and more than 10 others injured on Monday after a dining hall under construction collapsed at Prasat Kokchak pagoda in Kokchak commune, Siem Reap province. Provincial police chief Tith Narong said Military Police, soldiers and local volunteers had successfully recovered 16

  • China Unicom enters Cambodia

    China Unicom, the country’s largest telecoms operator, has expanded into Cambodia to build optical telecommunication pathways in the Kingdom as part of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The Hong Kong-listed company officially opened its China Unicom (Cambodia) subsidiary on Monday to become the

  • Forest Harmony’s $18M luxury villas break ground in Kampot

    Local and French joint-venture Forest Harmony has broken ground on its $18 million “second-home” Luxury Holiday Villas project in Kampot province. Century 21 Mekong CEO and local shareholder of the project Chrek Soknim told The Post that the project will comprise 90 villa units covering 18ha on a 97

  • PP-SHV Expressway on track for completion in early 2023

    The construction of the $1.9 billion Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville Expressway, which broke ground at the end of March, is on track to be completed by early 2023, Ministry of Public Works and Transport spokesman Vasim Sorya said on Monday. The 190km high-speed highway linking the capital to the