News / Asia

Former Khmer Rouge Leaders Ask Court to Release Them

Nuon Chea, former deputy secretary of the Communist Party of Kampuchea, looks on during a joint hearing with other top Khmer Rouge leaders, Khieu Samphan, former head of state, and Ieng Thirith, former social affairs minister, at the court hall of the U.N
Nuon Chea, former deputy secretary of the Communist Party of Kampuchea, looks on during a joint hearing with other top Khmer Rouge leaders, Khieu Samphan, former head of state, and Ieng Thirith, former social affairs minister, at the court hall of the U.N
Robert Carmichael

In Cambodia, defense lawyers for three former Khmer Rouge leaders - set to stand trial later this year - called on the international war crimes tribunal in Phnom Penh to release them.

Monday marked the first time that the three former Khmer Rouge leaders have appeared together at the international war crimes tribunal.

Their lawyers asked the court to release them ahead of their trial, which is expected to start later this year.

They told the court their elderly clients had been in pre-trial detention for longer than the tribunal’s rules permitted.

The three accused in court were Nuon Chea, the movement’s chief ideologue who was known as Brother Number Two; Khieu Samphan, who was the movement’s head of state; and Ieng Thirith, the former social affairs minister.

The fourth defendant, ex-foreign minister Ieng Sary, did not appeal the tribunal’s recent ruling that all four must remain in custody ahead of their trial.

International prosecutor Andrew Cayley said Monday that Nuon Chea’s request for release ran counter to international jurisprudence.

He said among other things, Nuon Chea should remain in custody because he had shown himself capable of intimidating those below him in the Khmer Rouge hierarchy.

At least one of those people is scheduled to testify against Nuon Chea, and Cayley said other witnesses were also fearful of testifying. "Your honors, given the accused’s position within Democratic Kampuchea, he could put pressure on witnesses. Especially those under his authority, and indeed there has been some evidence of that already," Cayley stated.

Prosecutors also warned that the defendants had access to the names of witnesses.

The court is expected to rule on the request for release within 30 days.

Earlier this month the four were charged with genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and crimes under Cambodian law. They deny the charges.

As many as 2.2 million people died under the Khmer Rouge movement’s rule of Cambodia between 1975 and 1979.

The movement’s leader, Pol Pot, died in 1998.

Last year the tribunal sentenced the movement’s former security chief, Comrade Duch, to 30 years. Both the prosecution and Duch’s lawyers have appealed the verdict, which will be heard in late March.

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid