Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Khmer Rouge court's methods in spotlight again

Khmer Rouge court's methods in spotlight again

Khmer Rouge court's methods in spotlight again

Techniques and methods of the Office of Co-Investigating Judges were under the microscope yesterday at the Khmer Rouge tribunal after the international counsel for co-accused Nuon Chea attempted to probe into the way interviewers questioned witness Norng Sophang, a former cryptographer who decoded Democratic Kampuchea-era messages.

Attorney Andrew Ianuzzi referred to an earlier interview in which Sophang said he was “bombarded” with questions about the disappearance of cadres, as if investigators weren’t happy with his answers.

The prosecution objected, and defence teams chimed in with support for Ianuzzi.

In response, the American lawyer said: “I don’t think this chamber should attach any presumption of regularity to the OCIJ’s investigation.”

Judge Jean-Marc Lavergne explained the ruling, which sided with the prosecution, and called the line of questioning “inappropriate”.

“It is important that issues raised at trial should be raised openly, without containing in themselves allegations according to which the co-investigating judges’ investigators have been dishonest or fraudulent,” he said.

Sophang himself cast doubt on the statements. He told the court that some answers qualified by words such as “perhaps” could be viewed as assumptions, not fact.

Cambodia’s war crimes tribunal has an investigative process unique among other international tribunals.

Documentation Center of Cambodia
legal adviser Anne Heindel highlighted in a recent analysis of the misgivings over investigation that the tribunal was based on a system that typically involves a lengthy investigative period and a short trial.

However, the skirmish over investigative procedure in the tribunal’s landmark Case 002 has stretched over a number of weeks and filings since judges began hearing substantive evidence in the case.

To contact the reporter on this story: Joseph Freeman at [email protected]
With assistance from Bridget Di Certo

MOST VIEWED

  • Negotiations on EBA being held

    In an effort to defuse tensions, a senior government official said Cambodia is negotiating with the European Union (EU) on the Everything But Arms (EBA) trade deal, which allows the Kingdom to export goods to the 28-member bloc tariff-free. The EU notified Cambodia on October 5

  • Ministers to tackle sea pollutants

    Preah Sihanouk provincial authorities and members of local communities have collected 77 tonnes of water hyacinth at a Sihanoukville beach, Preah Sihanouk Provincial Hall spokesperson Or Saroeun said. He told The Post yesterday that the aquatic weeds had been floating along some of the province’s

  • Chinese police escort deported scam suspects

    Ninety-one Chinese nationals accused of extorting money from victims in a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) scam were deported from Phnom Penh International Airport on Monday under the escort of 182 Chinese police personnel. General Department of Immigration head of investigations Ouk Hay Seila told reporters

  • Sam Rainsy, government group set to clash at IPU Geneva meet?

    Opposition figure Sam Rainsy has been invited to speak at the General Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) in Geneva, according to a former Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) lawmaker. A government delegation is also set to attend the meeting, a National Assembly press release