Case 002

Case 002

Date: 29 March 2013

The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) were established in 2003 to prosecute individuals alleged to be senior leaders of Democratic Kampuchea (DK) and/or those most responsible for crimes allegedly committed during the 1975-1979 DK regime.  Case 001, involving Mr. Kaing Guek Eav alias “Duch”, the Chairman of the S-21 detention center, was concluded in February 2011.  The individuals originally charged in Case 002 are Mr. Nuon Chea, Mr. Khieu Samphan, Mr. Ieng Sary and Mrs. Ieng Thirith (Mr. Ieng Sary’s wife).  Proceedings against Mrs. Ieng Thirith were suspended on 13 September 2012 after she was found to be unfit to stand trial.  Proceedings against Mr. Ieng Sary were terminated on 14 March 2013 following his death.  Proceedings against Mr. Nuon Chea and Mr. Khieu Samphan continue.  Although proceedings against Mr. Ieng Sary have been terminated and, therefore, no judgement can be entered against him, the Ieng Sary Defence presents below a brief history of Case 002 as a whole.

On 18 July 2007, the OCP filed an Introductory Submission, requesting that the Office of the Co-Investigating Judges (OCIJ) investigate whether Mr. Nuon Chea, Mr. Khieu Samphan, Mr. Ieng Sary and Mrs. Ieng Thirith were criminally responsible for genocide, crimes against humanity, grave breaches of the 1949 Geneva Conventions and national crimes.  The Office of the Co-Prosecutors (OCP) alleges that from 1975 to 1979 Mr. Nuon Chea was the Chairman of the DK National Assembly and the Deputy Secretary of the Communist Party of Kampuchea, Mr. Khieu Samphan was the Head of State, Mr. Ieng Sary was the Deputy Prime Minister for Foreign Affairs and Mrs. Ieng Thirith was the Minister for Social Action.

On 15 September 2010, the OCIJ issued a Closing Order (Indictment) for Case 002, charging the Accused with committing (via a joint criminal enterprise), planning, instigating, ordering and aiding and abetting genocide, crimes against humanity, grave breaches of the 1949 Geneva Conventions and several national crimes under the 1956 Cambodian Penal Code.  The Accused were also alleged to be criminally responsible as superiors.  The ECCC Pre-Trial and Trial Chambers subsequently dismissed the charges related to national crimes under the 1956 Cambodian Penal Code and the extended form of joint criminal enterprise liability (JCE III) because they had not existed in Cambodian law from 1975 to 1979.

In June 2011, trial proceedings in Case 002 commenced.  In September 2011, the Trial Chamber divided the case into discrete segments.  The first trial segment (Case 002/01), which began in November 2011, focused on the DK structure and policies, the roles and responsibilities of the Accused prior to and during the DK regime, and two alleged population movements.  The charges at issue were crimes against humanity of murder, extermination, persecution (except on religious grounds), forced transfer and enforced disappearance (as related to the two alleged population movements).  On 8 February 2013, the Supreme Court Chamber annulled the Trial Chamber’s severance order as a result of the Trial Chamber’s failures to hear from the parties and consider reasonable representativeness of the charges before deciding to sever the case.  On 29 March 2013, the Trial Chamber orally rendered its decision on the severance of Case 002, severing the case in the same manner as it had done previously.  Accordingly, Case 002/01 will encompass charges relating to the alleged forced movement of the population (Phases 1 and 2) and executions at Tuol Po Chrey

Mr. Ieng Sary was 89 years old when he passed away.  He was in weak physical condition and had a well-documented history of heart problems, urological problems and arthritis.  In September 2012, Mr. Ieng Sary was evacuated to the hospital from the ECCC Detention Facility.  He remained in the hospital for two months.  On 7 November 2012, Mr. Ieng Sary was returned to the ECCC Detention Facility and was not permitted to remain in the hospital for continued treatment, despite having waived his right to be present for the testimony of certain witnesses and Civil Parties.  On 26 November 2012, the Trial Chamber found him fit to stand trial.  On 4 March 2013, Mr. Ieng Sary was again evacuated to the hospital from the ECCC Detention Facility.  On 14 March 2013, Mr. Ieng Sary passed away.