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

  • Prince Norodom Ranariddh passes away at 77

    Prince Norodom Ranariddh, the second son of the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk and former First Prime Minister of Cambodia, has passed away in France at the age of 77. “Samdech Krom Preah Norodom Ranariddh has passed away this morning in France just after 9am Paris-time,”

  • Rise in planned flights lifts travel hopes

    Six airlines have applied to resume flights in December, while two others have put in for additional flights and routes, according to State Secretariat of Civil Aviation (SSCA) head Mao Havannall on November 29. These account for 43 new weekly domestic and international flights in December, up 16

  • General’s gun smuggling ring busted

    The Military Police sent six military officers to court on November 22 to face prosecution for possession of 105 illegal rifles and arms smuggling, while investigators say they are still hunting down additional accomplices. Sao Sokha, deputy commander of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and commander of

  • Is Cambodia’s travel sector in for another cheerless holiday season?

    The travel and tourism sector was heaving back to life as borders started to reopen, promising a festive vibe for the holidays and New Year. But Omicron and other Covid-related issues are threatening to close the year on a bleak note ‘Seems [like] Covid-19 won’

  • Cambodia, Thailand to discuss border reopening

    Cambodian authorities from provinces along the Cambodia-Thailand border will meet with Thai counterparts to discuss reopening border checkpoints to facilitate travel, transfer of products and cross-border trade between the two countries. Banteay Meanchey provincial deputy governor Ly Sary said on November 22 that the provincial administration

  • Hun Sen: Manet to be candidate for prime minister

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has reaffirmed that his oldest son Hun Manet will be his successor as Prime Minister if he is elected. Speaking during the inauguration of a new sewage treatment facility in Preah Sihanouk province on December 2, Hun Sen said Manet will be