Friday, June 24, 2011

Case 002 kicks-off

The prelim trial of four of the most senior Khmer Rouge leaders - Nuon Chea, Ieng Sary, Ieng Thirith (the only woman) and Khieu Samphan - will begin here in Phnom Penh on Monday. It's expected case 002 will take years as the 4 have all denied the array of charges against them. That's if the defendants last that long. They are in frail health and their ages range from 79 to 85 years. One difference in this trial will be that convictions, or acquittals, will be delivered against the accused as the trial proceeds, effectively shortening the trial into bite-sized chunks. It's also good to hear that the Khmer people will have their say after judges allowed 3,850 civil applications for reparations to be included. Plans to indict more of the 'most responsible' Khmer Rouge cadres beyond the high profile five, in cases 003 and 004, have floundered in recent months with investigating judges paying lip service to pursuing the evidence and individuals involved. The cost of the court to date has been around $100+ million and so far we have Duch behind bars for less than 20 years.



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