Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - KR release bids dismissed




KR release bids dismissed

KR release bids dismissed

eccc_handout
Nuon Chea, former Khmer Rouge Brother No 2, appears at the tribunal for a hearing last month.

Judges at the Khmer Rouge tribunal have rejected defence applications seeking the immediate release of three former regime leaders, saying the continued detention of the accused is necessary to “ensure their presence” at the court’s historic second trial later this year.

In applications filed to the hybrid court’s Trial Chamber last month, lawyers for former Khmer Rouge Brother No 2 Nuon Chea, head of state Khieu Samphan and social action minister Ieng Thirith argued that the court had not met the legal requirements to continue holding their clients in detention ahead of their trial.

Nuon Chea and Ieng Thirith’s defence teams claimed that judges in the Pre-Trial Chamber failed to issue a reasoned decision for rejecting the lawyers’ appeal against their client’s indictment, as they are required to do under the court’s Internal Rules.

Khieu Samphan’s lawyers, meanwhile, charged that the maximum allowable period of pre-trial detention provided for under court rules had expired.

“The Trial Chamber found that the delay in issuing reasoning for the continued detention resulted in a breach of the Accused Persons’ rights, but that the nature of the remedy in consequence of this breach may be assessed at the end of the trial,” the court said in a statement today.

“Furthermore, the Trial Chamber found that continued detention is necessary to ensure the presence of the Accused Persons at trial.”

The applications followed a January 13 decision by the PTC ordering the accused to remain in pretrial detention pending their trial.

The Trial Chamber conducted a hearing related to the applications on January 31.

In its decision, the chamber found that the delay in issuing reasoning for the continued detention indeed resulted in a breach of the three accused’s rights, but that the issue of how to compensate for this breach should be assessed “at the end of the trial”.

Judges also argued that Khieu Samphan’s appeal had been based on a “misreading” of the relevant rules, arguing that limits to provisional detention had not been exceeded in his case.

Furthermore, the decision stated that the continued detention of the trio was necessary to ensure their presence at their upcoming trial and to prevent them from “exerting pressure on witnesses or victims or destroying

evidence”.

The three are set to face trial within the next six months, court officials have said, along with former Khmer Rouge foreign minister Ieng Sary.

MOST VIEWED

  • China and India closer to ‘biggest’ showdown

    Indian and Chinese troops remained engaged in an eyeball-to-eyeball situation in several disputed areas along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Eastern Ladakh on Thursday, signalling that the confrontation could become the biggest military face-off after the Doklam episode in 2017. Ladakh is a union

  • Central bank to shun small US banknotes

    The National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) is considering not accepting smaller denominated US dollar banknotes – $1, $2 and $5 – from banks and microfinance institutions (MFIs) which it said are flooding its stockpile as the demand for those notes is low. While some banking insiders welcomed the move as

  • PM lauded in Covid-19 fight

    World Health Organisation (WHO) director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus sent a letter to Prime Minister Hun Sen thanking him for following the WHO’s guidance and commending Cambodia’s efforts in the fight against Covid-19. In his letter made public by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

  • Workers return, hope for salaries

    More than 600 factory workers in the capital’s Chaom Chao commune in Por Sen Chey district returned to work after the factory’s owner promised to pay their salaries in instalments until the middle of next month. On Tuesday and Wednesday, more than 600 workers gathered

  • Women detained for forcing kids to beg

    Two women were sent to Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Thursday for forcing six children to beg for money for several months at the Chhouk Meas market in Krang Thnong commune in the capital’s Sen Sok district. Phnom Penh Department of Anti-human Trafficking and

  • Vietnamese tents baffle border guards

    Kandal and Takeo provincial authorities bordering Vietnam have expressed concern after witnessing irregularities by the Vietnamese authorities, including the deployment of soldiers to erect 114 camps just 30m from the border. Takeo provincial governor Ouch Phea told The Post on Thursday that Vietnamese soldiers had erected 83