Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Im Chaem defence lauds decision

Im Chaem defence lauds decision

Im Chaem's defense lawyer Wayne Jordash. ECCC
Im Chaem's defense lawyer Wayne Jordash. ECCC

Im Chaem defence lauds decision

Defence lawyers for the Khmer Rouge’s Im Chaem have welcomed a highly redacted decision to dismiss her case, saying it was a “milestone in her long and difficult march towards justice”.

Chaem, a district chief who had the authority to order executions, was deemed too low-ranking to be held responsible for crimes against humanity under the regime, but the bulk of the legal reasoning for throwing out her case was redacted from the co-investigators’ filing, drawing criticism from tribunal observers.

Lawyers Bit Seanglim and Wayne Jordash praised the investigating judges for their “careful consideration of the facts” and for fairly evaluating the evidence, despite the lengthy proceedings.

“[D]espite these regrettable circumstances, our client welcomes the dismissal of all charges and the lifting of some of the weight of the unfair and inaccurate allegations she has faced for almost ten years,” they said.

“She has always denied every allegation and today’s decision is a significant step towards demonstrating her innocence and clearing her name.”

Chaem’s case has long been controversial; the government has been openly opposed to it, and it also splintered the prosecution team. National Co-Prosecutor Chea Leang argued the charges should be dropped as Chaem was not a senior leader, but International Co-Prosecutor Nicholas Koumjian said Chaem was one of those “most responsible” and forged ahead.

“[T]he International Co-Prosecutor’s assessment was flawed and ultimately wrong,” the defence said.

Koumjian yesterday noted that most factual findings in the decision were classified confidential. “[I]f Im Chaem’s defence is truly convinced that the evidence shows the case should never have been pursued, I hope they will join me in asking that both sides’ submissions and the judges’ full reasoning be made public, so that everyone can see the state of the evidence,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Kingdom lacks up to 400MW in available electricity’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has called on the general public, hoteliers and businesspeople with generators to use them as back-up as the Electricity Authority of Cambodia cannot generate enough electricity to meet needs due to low water levels in power station reservoirs. On Saturday evening

  • Sor Chandeth defends his criticism of Hun Sen

    Former senator Sor Chandeth has defended his choice of words when criticising Hun Sen, saying he was merely speaking metaphorically to attack the Prime Minister’s political life, not his actual person, as the latter seeks damages. [img] Chandeth spoke to The Post on Thursday,

  • South Korea’s Moon arrives in Kingdom for state visit

    South Korean president Moon Jae-in and his wife arrived in Phnom Penh on Thursday at the start of a three-day state visit to Cambodia to strengthen ties and further the friendship between the two countries. After arriving at the Phnom Penh International Airport in the

  • Youths band together to clean ‘filthy’ Boeung Trabek canal

    Inspired by their affection for the environment, a desire to have a clean and beautiful city, and wanting to send a message to people to stop littering, a group of some two dozen volunteer youths have taken to picking up trash day and night from