Prosecutor's at the Khmer Rouge tribunal have set forth a rough outline for proceedings in the court’s looming second trial, which some say will be among the most complex international war crimes cases ever tried.
In a submission to the court’s Trial Chamber dated Friday, the prosecutors suggested that the trial proceed in semi-chronological fashion, beginning with events including the evacuation of Phnom Penh and the execution of Khmer Republic officials that took place around April 1975.
The proceedings could then move to an examination of regime policies and hierarchy before finally looking at the specific crime sites and events listed in last year’s indictment, the prosecutors wrote.
Also in the Friday submission, the prosecutors offered lists of witnesses, civil parties and expert commentators that they requested be summoned to appear at the trial, which is expected to begin within the next six months.
While the identities of those on the lists remain confidential, prosecutors have asked that 16 experts, 247 witnesses and 32 civil parties be summoned for testimony.
“The testimony of at least these individuals will be central to the Co-Prosecutors’ ability to prove the vast matrix of crimes and modes of individual criminal responsibility alleged in the indictment,” the prosecutors wrote.
International co-prosecutor Andrew Cayley has said he expects the Case 002 trial to take at least two years.
During the tribunal’s first trial – that of former Tuol Sleng prison chief Kaing Guek Eav, alias Duch – the court heard from nine experts, 17 fact witnesses, seven character witnesses and 22 civil parties over roughly six months of hearings. Duch was found guilty of crimes against humanity and grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions in July, and his appeal is set to be heard in March.