The Khmer Rouge tribunal’s Trial Chamber has sided with the co-prosecution, declaring the four defendants accused in Case 002 can be charged with crimes against humanity, according to court documents published on Friday.
The decision, dated last Wednesday, rules on a conten-tious legal point between the co-prosecutors and the four senior leaders accused in 002.
The accused are charged with crimes against humanity including murder, torture, political and religious persecution, but they have disputed the tribunal’s competency to charge them with crimes against humanity under international law.
The accused claim the charge of “crimes against humanity” exists only during a state of international armed conflict and have denied the Democratic Kampuchea regime constituted such a conflict.
The Trial Chamber’s decision declares there need not be an “international armed conflict” for the accused to be charged with crimes against humanity – an important clarification of the charges against the accused ahead of the start of Case 002.
The trial of the four senior Khmer Rouge leaders is due to begin on November 21.