In its final ruling before disbanding, the special court charged with prosecuting the Khmer Rouge for its atrocities upheld on appeal the life sentence for genocide on Thursday, September 22, of Phnom Penh’s last living high-ranking official, Kyu Champan. The 91-year-old former leader of the Democratic Party of Cambodia has also been found guilty of crimes against humanity – murder, enslavement, forced marriage, rape – and grave violations of the Geneva Conventions.
Cue champagne “direct knowledge of the crimes and shared intent to commit them with other participants in the collective criminal enterprise” It killed nearly two million people between 1975 and 1979, Judge Gong Srim recalled. The charges against him are related “Some of the most brutal acts” Maoist dictatorship, the head of the Supreme Court Chamber asserted.
Cue Champon attended the verdict in court, in his wheelchair, listening to the two-and-a-half-hour pronouncement through an audio headset. He had already been sentenced to life in prison in 2014 – upheld on appeal in 2016 – for crimes against humanity during the forced evacuation of residents of Phnom Penh, in the first part of his river trial, which began in 2011.
A “HISTORIC DAY”
Nearly 500 people attended the hearing, including victims’ families, Buddhist monks and diplomats. “Historic Day” According to court spokesman Ned Fectra.
Cue Champon, one of the regime’s rare public faces, has always denied involvement in the actions he is accused of, especially the genocide against the Vietnamese. This figure does not concern the mass killings of Khmers by Khmers, which are not considered genocide by the United Nations.
Cue Champon is the third Khmer Rouge figure to be sentenced by this special court, which is made up of Cambodian and international judges. Kaing Guek Eav, nicknamed “Douch”, was sentenced to life in prison for war crimes and crimes against humanity. The former torturer, head of the country’s most feared detention center at the time, S21, died in 2020 at the age of 77.
Dissolution in three years
The judges handed down the same sentence to the movement’s ideologue, Noon Xia, for genocide against Vietnamese and Sam Muslims and crimes against humanity. He died in August 2019 at the age of 93. “Brother Number One”, Pol Pot, died in 1998 without being tried.
The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) is preparing to close its doors without disposing of the controversies that have undermined them from the start. Charges against three accused of genocide or crimes against humanity have been dropped in recent years, a reminder of their weakness in a country ruled by repentant former Khmer Rouge commander Hun Sen, who has spoken out against any new trial in the nation’s name. Stability.
Compared to the number of convictions, its cost, more than $330 million, fueled suspicions. Its functionality should work “A Model for Investigating Future Serious Crimes and Massacres at the International Level”, Binh Chin, Cambodia’s deputy prime minister, told a press conference after the speech. Its last case is closed and, among other things, the court must dissolve within three years after completing its archival work.
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