Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - KRT filings seek more suspects

KRT filings seek more suspects

KRT filings seek more suspects

THE acting international co-prosecutor at the Khmer Rouge tribunal on Monday requested the investigation of five more suspects in two separate filings, one of which covered crimes he said constituted genocide.

The filings from William Smith were submitted on the same day Prime Minister Hun Sen warned that the pursuit of additional prosecutions risked sparking civil unrest that could claim up to 300,000 lives.

They were the second and third introductory submissions from prosecutors. The first, submitted in July 2007, led to the indictments of the five Khmer Rouge leaders currently in custody.

In a statement Tuesday, Smith said the submissions covered 40 "distinct factual situations" of murder, torture, unlawful detention, forced labour and persecution.

The allegations described in both submissions would amount to crimes against humanity and violations of Cambodian law, whereas those in the third - which covers 32 of the 40 factual situations - would also amount to genocide, he said.

The co-prosecutors also argued in July 2007 that crimes detailed in the first submission constituted genocide, though none of the five regime leaders mentioned were ultimately charged with it after investigations concluded.

The tribunal opened the door to new investigations last week by announcing that the five-person Pre-Trial Chamber had failed to resolve a nine-month disagreement between the international co-prosecutor, who pushed for the investigations, and the national co-prosecutor, who argued against them, citing concerns about national stability. The chamber voted three-to-two against them. The tribunal's internal rules held that the proposed investigations would go forward in the absence of a supermajority, or four-to-one vote.

Smith told the Post Tuesday that the Pre-Trial Chamber decision "obligated me to immediately forward the two submissions to the co-investigating judges". National co-prosecutor Chea Leang said Tuesday that Smith "had every right" to go forward with the submissions and declined to comment further. Smith said in the statement that he had "no plans to conduct any further preliminary investigations into additional suspects" at the tribunal.

The submissions - and consequently the names of the five suspects - are confidential.

One former cadre who has been repeatedly mentioned as a likely suspect said he agreed with Hun Sen's repeated claims that more prosecutions could spark unrest.

Meas Muth, former secretary of Central Committee Division 164, which included the Khmer Rouge navy, said by phone from Samlaut that "further prosecutions would lead to conflict".

The former military commander is one of two men included in the 2001 report on prosecution candidates - written by Stephen Heder and Brian D Tittemore - who is still alive and has not been indicted.

Sou Met, former secretary of Central Committee Division 502, which included the air force, is the other.


  • ‘Dire consequences’ from sanctions, warns AmCham

    American businesspeople in Cambodia have warned that any sanction against the Kingdom would have “dire consequences” that could push Cambodia even further into the arms of China. In a letter to US senators and representatives dated Monday, the American Chamber of Commerce Cambodia (AmCham) said

  • Protests planned in New York as Hun Sen to attend the UN

    Prime Minister Hun Sen will speak at the United Nations General Assembly in New York this week. But US-based supporters of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) plan to throw eggs at his car as part of a series of protests to coincide

  • CPP: ‘Behave or Sokha suffers’

    The ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) spokesman warned Kem Monovithya on Thursday that her attempt to damage “national reputation and prestige” would lead to her father, Kem Sokha, receiving even harsher punishment. Sok Eysan issued the warning as Monovithya, who is the court dissolved

  • Preah Sihanouk beach developments halted

    After receiving an order from Hun Sen, Minister of Land Management Chea Sophara led a team of experts and relevant officials to Sihanoukville to call a halt to the illegal development of a beach. The prime minister ordered the Prek Treng beach in Otres commune