Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Judges take PM’s remarks to task

Judges take PM’s remarks to task

Judges take PM’s remarks to task

Prime Minister Hun Sen’s remarks regarding the guilt of Case 002 former Brother No 2 Nuon Chea “risk being interpreted as an attempt to improperly influence the judges in charge of the case”, judges at the Khmer Rouge tribunal said in a decision published yesterday.

The decision came in response to a request from Nuon Chea’s defence team for a public condemnation of the premier’s comments and a public warning to be issued to him.

Earlier this year, Vietnamese news agencies reported that Hun Sen, a former Khmer Rouge cadre himself, called Nuon Chea a “killer and genocide [perpetrator]”.

“Everybody knows our country used to have a genocidal regime, and [now] we and the world have opened a trial against them,” he said.

Trial Chamber judges at the tribunal in a decision dated May 11 and published yesterday, said Hun Sen’s actions were “incompatible” with the rights of the accused.

“It is therefore clear from the international jurisprudence that any declaration of an accused person’s guilt by a public official prior to a verdict being delivered by a court is incompatible with the presumption of innocence,” the judges wrote.

However, due to legal technicalities, the judges found Nuon Chea’s defence’s request inadmissible, as lawyers had already raised the issue orally in court.

The judges determined they had dealt with this suitably in court and thus the relief suit by defence lawyers – a public condemnation and public warning – were not granted.

To contact the reporter on this story: Bridget Di Certo at [email protected]

MOST VIEWED

  • Government hits back at threats to pull EBA, suspend UN seat

    The spokesman for the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) has said the government is in no way concerned after the European Parliament gave it three months to reverse what it called the “systematic repression of the political opposition”. Ignoring the ultimatum could mean facing

  • Chinese influx pushing locals, Westerners out of Preah Sihanouk

    Some within the Kingdom’s tourism industry have speculated that the recent influx of Chinese visitors may hinder domestic tourism as the price of accommodations in the coastal city of Sihanoukville continues to rise. Preah Sihanouk province, which has become a hotbed for Chinese investment

  • Sar Kheng: Sokha requested security

    Interior Minister Sar Kheng on Sunday revealed the story behind the transfer of former opposition party leader Kem Sokha from Trapaing Phlong prison in Tbong Khmum province to his house in the capital. Speaking at the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) headquarters in Prey

  • Chinese living in Kingdom more than doubles since ’17

    The number of Chinese nationals living in Cambodia this year has increased to more than 210,000. The figure rose from last year’s 100,000, the newly appointed Secretary of State Sok Phal confirmed yesterday. He said: “Of the 210,000, more than 78,000 are living in Preah Sihanouk [province], but