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 GDP growth to narrow -1% to -2.9%, World Bank says

    The World Bank expects further recoil on Cambodia’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth to between minus one per cent and minus 2.9 per cent for 2020 as its main growth drivers – tourism, manufacturing exports and construction – take a beating due to Covid-19, its latest economic update

  • Vietnam: Tougher sentences for child abusers

    Several National Assembly (NA) deputies in Vietnam are calling for tougher penalties to be handed down to child abusers. They hope stricter punishments will act as a strong deterrent to prevent offenders committing further offences in the future. Extreme measures such as chemical castration were

  • Central bank to shun small US banknotes

    The National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) is considering not accepting smaller denominated US dollar banknotes – $1, $2 and $5 – from banks and microfinance institutions (MFIs) which it said are flooding its stockpile as the demand for those notes is low. While some banking insiders welcomed the move as

  • PM lauded in Covid-19 fight

    World Health Organisation (WHO) director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus sent a letter to Prime Minister Hun Sen thanking him for following the WHO’s guidance and commending Cambodia’s efforts in the fight against Covid-19. In his letter made public by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

  • Workers return, hope for salaries

    More than 600 factory workers in the capital’s Chaom Chao commune in Por Sen Chey district returned to work after the factory’s owner promised to pay their salaries in instalments until the middle of next month. On Tuesday and Wednesday, more than 600 workers gathered

  • Women detained for forcing kids to beg

    Two women were sent to Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Thursday for forcing six children to beg for money for several months at the Chhouk Meas market in Krang Thnong commune in the capital’s Sen Sok district. Phnom Penh Department of Anti-human Trafficking and