Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Judges nix request for WikiLeaks’ evidence

Judges nix request for WikiLeaks’ evidence

Judges nix request for WikiLeaks’ evidence

KRTalk logo

Khmer Rouge tribunal judges have rejected both the prosecution and the defence’s requests to admit cables released in April by whistleblowing website WikiLeaks as evidence, on the grounds that the cables offer no new information and their authenticity would be difficult to verify.

The prosecution had asked the court to consider 26 cables sent between the US Embassy in Phnom Penh and Washington DC from 1973 to 1975; while Khieu Samphan’s defence team had requested the admission of 12 different cables from that period as well as two from 2006 and 2007, the latter of which relate to alleged corruption at the court.

In their response, the judges write that, because “all proposed cables originate from the WikiLeaks website rather than from official State Department sources”, the court is “unable to conclude that material . . . is authentic.”

“Although the parties could seek to obtain authentic copies of the proposed cables from official sources,” the judges write, they assert the “impossibility of obtaining [the authenticated versions of these cables] within a reasonable time.”

The prosecutors had hoped to use some of the cables as evidence of excessive Khmer Rouge killings of civilians and Lon Nol soldiers; Samphan’s lawyers had hoped other cables would buttress claims of Samphan’s good character.

The judges, however, write that, even if authentic, the cables are “repetitious insofar as they tend largely to corroborate other background evidence already on the Case File.”

The judges add that the two more recent cables’ allegations of political bias and corruption at the court are “generalised, and the Khieu Samphan Defence has not demonstrated the relevance of these issues to the Accused’s alleged responsibility in Case 002/01 or facts otherwise at issue at trial”.

MOST VIEWED

  • US think tank warns of China's 'ulterior motives'

    A US think tank on Tuesday warned that spreading Chinese investment in the Indo-Pacific follows a pattern of leveraging geopolitical influence at the expense of the nations receiving investment, including Cambodia. The report looks at a sample of 15 Chinese port development projects, noting that the

  • Defence Ministry denies weapons in smuggling case came from Cambodia

    After a Thai national was arrested last week for allegedly smuggling guns from Cambodia to Thailand, Cambodia's Defence Ministry has claimed the weapons seized during the arrest are not used in Cambodia, despite the fact that both types of rifle seized are commonly found in

  • Stock photo agencies cash in on Khmer Rouge tragedy
    Stock-photo companies selling images from S-21 raises ethics concerns

    A woman with short-cropped hair stares directly into the camera, her head cocked slightly to the side. On her lap is a sleeping infant just barely in the frame. The woman was the wife of a Khmer Rouge officer who fell out of favour, and

  • More than three tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia seized in Mozambique

    A total of 3.5 tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia was seized by authorities in Mozambique late last week, according to the NGO Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). CITES' information was based on a report from the