Core Activities

Adoption of Internal Rules

The OCP actively participated in the drafting of the Internal Rules culminating in their adoption by the judicial Plenary on 12 June 2007. Subsequently, it made comprehensive suggestions to the Rules and the Procedure Committee (RPC) for further amendments to the Internal Rules based on the experience gained in their implementation since the June 2007 Plenary. These suggestions were considered in the January and September 2008 Plenary sessions.

Preliminary Investigation and the First Introductory Submission

Within a month of the promulgation of the Internal Rules, the OCP filed its first Introductory Submission. This Submission represented the result of the preliminary investigation conducted with the assistance of the Cambodian national police during a number of months prior to its filing. The OCP submitted that the factual allegations in that Submission constituted crimes against humanity, genocide, grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions and homicide, torture and religious persecution under the Cambodian law. It identified five suspects who allegedly committed or bore superior responsibility for those crimes. Along with the Introductory Submission, the OCP transmitted more than 1,000 documents constituting over 14,000 pages, including statements or written records of over 350 witnesses, a list of 40 other potential witnesses, thousands of pages of Democratic Kampuchea-era documentation and the locations of over 40 undisturbed mass graves. These documents were digitalized and indexed in a database.

Subsequent Legal Work

All the suspects named in the Introductory Submission have been charged, arrested, and detained by the judicial organs of the ECCC. With these arrests, the judicial activity of this Court increased considerably. Many hearings have taken place in the cases of these five suspects: Duch, Nuon Chea, Ieng Sary, Ieng Thirith and Khieu Samphan. These hearings included their initial appearances, provisional detention hearings, interviews etc. Appellate hearings took place before the Pre-Trial Chamber in 2007 and 2008 on appeals by these Charged Persons against the respective orders of provisional detention by the Co-Investigating Judges. The OCP actively participated in all these hearings, and filed legal and factual pleadings in support of its submissions.

In March 2008, the OCP filed a Supplementary Submission requesting judicial investigation into additional criminal acts of the Khmer Rouge. This Submission was based on victim complaints filed with the assistance of a Cambodian non-governmental organization.

In September 2007, the Co-Investigating Judges ordered that the Khmer Rouge’s security centre in Phnom Penh “S-21” and its head Duch be investigated separately (Case No. 1) from the other four Charged Persons (Case No. 2). Upon conclusion of that separated case, on 18 July 2008, the OCP filed its Final Submission. The Co-Investigating Judges indicted Duch by their Closing Order of 8 August 2008. In September 2008, the OCP filed its substantive appeal against the Closing Order. The OCP is now preparing for the trial of Duch before the Trial Chamber that is expected to commence in early 2009.

The OCP continues to be actively involved in the judicial investigation and the appellate proceedings in the case dealing with crimes alleged in the Introductory Submission other than those committed at S-21 Security Centre.

Advanced Case Management Aids

The OCP uses advanced case management software CaseMap for maintaining its documents and records. CaseMap is a case analysis tool that makes it easy to organize and explore the facts, the persons involved like suspects, witnesses, victims and the issues in the case. This has become an indispensible tool in large-scale and complex criminal prosecutions, and is used by all the major international criminal tribunals.

The OCP also uses the advanced and easily searchable ZyLAB information and document management software and the Case Matrix software for legal research.

The Way Ahead:


Case File Monitoring

The OCP shall continue to monitor and participate in the judicial investigation in Case No. 2. It shall do so by initiating relevant investigative requests, submitting legal and factual analyses and in all other manners to ensure an effective and efficient conduct of judicial investigation and to ensure that the best evidence is forwarded to the Trial Chamber for the determination of the truth about the crimes committed under Democratic Kampuchea.

Participation in Judicial Proceedings

The OCP shall effectively participate in original and appellate proceedings before the various judicial organs of the ECCC in respect of matters emanating from the judicial investigation of the Co-Investigating Judges.

Trial Preparation

The OCP shall continue to prepare for the presentation of its case at trial in Case No. 1, expected to commence in early 2009, and in Case No. 2 dealing with other crimes throughout Cambodia that is likely to commence in late 2009. It shall do so by using advanced case and document management programs and software, legal and factual analyses and the most modern means of case presentation practiced before other major international criminal tribunals.

Strategic and Administrative Input to ECCC

As an independent office within the ECCC, the OCP shall regularly advise the other organs of the Court about strategic, administrative and legal issues impinging on an efficient and efficacious achievement of the Court’s mandate.

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