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KR tribunal witness refuses to take stand

Audience members listen to testimony at the Khmer Rouge tribunal late last month. ECCC
Audience members listen to testimony at the Khmer Rouge tribunal late last month. ECCC

KR tribunal witness refuses to take stand

Testimony was not heard yesterday at the Khmer Rouge tribunal after a witness refused to appear before the trial chamber, although court officials said measures would be taken to compel the witness to testify.

Currently identified as “2-TCW-827”, the witness was called by the prosecution to testify in the ongoing segment on the treatment of the Cham.

The alleged genocide against the predominantly Muslim ethnic minority is a key charge against Case 002/02 defendants Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan.

Announcing the unexpected adjournment, trial chamber president Nil Nonn said “coercive measures” would be taken to bring the witness before the court.

Later, court spokesman Lars Olsen said, “During our 10 years of operation we have only experienced a few occasions where individuals have failed to appear and . . . were dealt with on a case by case basis.”

Olsen declined to comment on the specific case of 2-TCW-827, but said “obviously the court can use public forces to compel the witness to appear; generally that is a measure that is available to the court”.

Olsen could not say if and when the witness might testify but trial chamber hearings are scheduled for today.

Chea defender Victor Koppe, said “it’s sometimes a criminal offence” not to testify.

The prosecution did not respond to requests for comment by press time.

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