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The Supreme Court Chamber of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) has scheduled the resumption of the appeal hearing in Case 002/01 after having adjourned the hearing due to lack of proper legal representation for Nuon Chea, resulting from his International Co-lawyer not attending the Appeal Hearing scheduled on 17-19 November 2015 and his National Co-lawyer leaving the courtroom in spite of the Chamber’s order to remain present. The Chamber will hear oral submissions on issues raised in the appeals, and the hearing is scheduled for 09:00 – 16:00 on 16, 17 and 18 February 2016, with 19 February as a reserve day, should additional time be required.
On this page we have collected some background information about the appeal proceedings.
Case 002/01 is the first of at least two trials against Khieu Samphan and Nuon Chea. The case is currently under appeal, whereas a second trial, Case 002/02, is currently on trial before the Trial Chamber.
On 15 September 2010, Khieu Samphan and Nuon Chea were indicted on charges related to crimes against humanity, genocide and grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions of 1949 in what is referred to as Case 002. The charges against them are specified in the Closing Order of Case 002.
In September 2011, the Trial Chamber decided to separate (sever) the charges in the Case 002 Closing Order into a series of smaller trials. The first trial in Case 002, referred to as Case 002/01, commenced on 21 November 2011. The charges in Case 002/01 focused on:
- alleged crimes against humanity related to the forced movement of the population from Phnom Penh in April 1975 and later from other regions (phases one and two); and
- alleged execution of Khmer Republic soldiers and officials at Toul Po Chrey execution site in Pursat immediately after the Khmer Rouge takeover in 1975.
The hearing of evidence during trial in Case 002/01 ended on 23 July 2013, and the closing statements concluded on 31 October 2013. The Trial Judgement was pronounced on 7 August 2014. Khieu Samphan and Nuon Chea were found guilty of crimes against humanity and sentenced to life imprisonment.
Both Khieu Samphan and Nuon Chea have filed appeals against the Trial Judgement, and, pending determination on issues on appeal, the accused are presumed innocent. The Co-Prosecutors have also filed an appeal against the Trial Judgement limited to one legal issue regarding a specific type of individual criminal responsibility for crimes prosecuted before the ECCC.
Case 002/01 trial in numbers:
- The trial commenced on 21 November 2011 and ended with closing statements on 31 October 2013.
- 222 trial days over the two-year period.
- 92 individuals testified during trial, including 3 experts, 53 fact witnesses, 5 character witnesses and 31 Civil Parties.
- 103,724 persons attended the trial proceedings during the 222 trial days.
Khieu Samphan's appeal:
Khieu Samphan is advancing 148 grounds of appeal against the Trial Judgement in Case 002/01, alleging that the Trial Chamber made a number of errors in law and in fact.
Khieu Samphan requests the Supreme Court Chamber to reverse the Trial Judgement and acquit him of all charges and order his immediate release. In the alternative, Khieu Samphan asks his life sentence to be reduced to a specific number of years of imprisonment.
Nuon Chea's appeal:
Nuon Chea is advancing 223 grounds of appeal against the Trial Judgement in Case 002/01, alleging that the Trial Chamber made a number of errors in law and in fact.
Nuon Chea requests the Supreme Court Chamber to invalidate the trial judgment and acquit him of all charges.
The Co-Prosecutor's appeal:
JCE III is a mode of liability where a member of a joint criminal enterprise can be held criminally responsible for criminal acts committed by another member of the group, even when the act was not expressly included in the scope of the criminal enterprise, but it was nevertheless foreseeable that the criminal act may be a consequence of the joint criminal enterprise.
The Co-Prosecutors requests the Supreme Court Chamber to declare that Joint Criminal Enterprise III is a mode of responsibility which can be applied in the ECCC proceedings.
How long will the appeals process take?
Due to the complexity of the appeals, a number of requests for admission of new evidence, as well as the fact that three working languages (Khmer, English and French) are being used at the Court, it is difficult to precisely project when th appeals judgement can be pronounced.
Since there are appeals related to alleged error of laws and errors of fact, will the Supreme Court Chamber hear the entire Case 002/01 again afresh?
No. The Supreme Court Chamber is bound by the confines of the scope of the appeals, and its principal role is to de¬cide whether the trial judgment is tainted by any legal or factual errors. But in determining whether an alleged error occurred, it may itself examine evidence or call new evidence to determine the issue, which is what the July hearing is meant to help achieve. In fact, there is a controversy among the parties as to the correct approach regarding alleged factual errors, which the Supreme Court Chamber will have to decide in the course of the proceedings.
Will there be more appeal hearings than those scheduled for February 2016?
No further hearings are planned at this time.
What is the composition of the Supreme Court Chamber and the voting rules for deciding on the appeals?
There are four Cambodian judges and three international judges in the Supreme Court Chamber. In order to make a decision, at least five out of seven judges must vote together.
Can the parties appeal against the Supreme Court Chamber’s appeal judgement?
No. The decisions of the Supreme Court Chamber are final and enforceable