On a day where co-accused leaders at the Khmer Rouge tribunal were asked if they were going to respond to documents read aloud in court, strongly worded replies from the defendants were in short supply.
Ieng Sary, the former minister of Foreign Affairs, was still in hospital.
The defence team for the former head of state, Khieu Samphan, said he had no plans to make a statement.
And Brother No 2 Nuon Chea, who was responding to the reading aloud of the closing order, used less than five minutes of the court’s time.
The former deputy secretary of the Communist Party of Kampuchea took issue with a description of his involvement in a committee that purged enemies, and rejected a previous statement implicating him in the running of the S-21 prison centre.
“And I would like to reject these accusations, and I would like to state very clearly that I have never been engaged in such committees, and at the same time I played no role at all in managing the S-21 office,” he said, before politely signing off.
“That’s all for me, Mr President. Thanks very much.”
The bulk of yesterday’s session was devoted to hours of a document hearing that will continue for the next three to four days, according to Trial Chamber judge Nil Nonn.
Civil parties and the prosecution will present documents further detailing the case against the accused in Case 002 – should no objections block the submissions.
Prosecutors used the day to read the texts, telegrams and broadcasts into the record.
They concerned communications, government structure of ministries, and even a simple argument against circulating currency.
“If we use money, that money will fall into private hands,” one document reads. “It will lead to private ownership.”
Many of the messages were published in the Khmer Rouge’s Revolutionary Flag magazine, a way for the group to spread theories and promulgations.
One message showed the regime’s take on King Norodom Sihanouk, who was at once the face of the faceless movement, and a kind of prisoner.
“As a matter of a fact, Sihanouk is a skinny tiger, he is clawless and jawless as well,” it read.
“We’ll keep him as a dignitary; we will not kill him.”
The court will not meet today or tomorrow, but will resume on October 18.
To contact the reporter on this story: Joe Freeman at [email protected]