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Today, the Pre-Trial Chamber of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) has confirmed and partially amended the indictments against the Accused Persons Ieng Sary, Ieng Thirith, Khieu Samphan and Nuon Chea. The Pre-Trial Chamber has ordered the Accused Persons to be sent for trial and to continue to be held in provisional detention until they are brought before the Trial Chamber. The indictments include charges of crimes against humanity, genocide, grave breaches of the 1949 Geneva Conventions and murder, torture and religious persecution as defined by the 1956 Cambodian Penal Code.
The Co-Investigating Judges issued a Closing Order with the initial indictments of the Accused Persons on 15 September 2010. All four Accused Persons filed appeals against the Closing Order to the Pre-Trial Chamber.
The Pre-Trial Chamber found that the appeal filed by Khieu Samphan was inadmissible, whereas the appeals filed by Ieng Sary, Ieng Thirith and Nuon Chea were found to be admissible in part. Of the admissible parts, the Pre-Trial Chamber dismissed all the grounds of appeal with two exceptions. First, the Pre-Trial Chamber ordered that the Closing Order be amended with a specification for the requirement of the existence of a link between the underlying acts of crimes against humanity and an armed conflict.
Secondly, the Pre-Trial Chamber also found that rape did not exist as a crime against humanity in its own right in the period 1975-1979, but that rape could be considered as “other inhumane acts” within the legal definition of crimes against humanity. The Closing Order was amended accordingly. The Pre-Trial Chamber will issue reasoned decisions on the appeals at a later date