The special court indicted by the Khmer Rouge for their atrocities, its final decision before disbanding, upheld on appeal the life sentence of Khmer Rouge for genocide. He is the last living Hon.
The 91-year-old former leader of the Democratic Party of Cambodia was also found guilty of crimes against humanity – murder, enslavement, forced marriage, rape – and serious violations of the Geneva Conventions.
Kyu Champan, who killed nearly two million people between 1975 and 1979, “had first-hand knowledge of the crimes and shared the intent to commit them with participants in the joint criminal enterprise,” recalled Judge Kong Shrim.
The head of the Supreme Court Chamber asserted that the charges against him were related to “some of the most heinous acts” of the ultra-Maoist dictatorship. Cue Champon attended the verdict in court, in his wheelchair, listening to the two-and-a-half-hour pronouncement through an audio headset.
He had already been sentenced to life in prison in 2014 – upheld on appeal in 2016 – for crimes against humanity during the forced evacuation of residents of Phnom Penh, in the first part of his river trial, which began in 2011.
Nearly 500 people, including victims’ families, Buddhist monks and diplomats, attended the hearing, which was a “historic day,” court spokesman Neth Fectra said.
“I’m happy to hear the verdict. I’m asking for justice for all the victims because they suffered so much. Pol Pot’s regime was very cruel,” U Soyun, 67, told AFP. Khmer Rouge era.
Cue Champon, one of the regime’s rare public faces, has always denied involvement in the actions he is accused of, especially the genocide against the Vietnamese.
“The Supreme Court Chamber finds no merit in Kyu Champan’s arguments about genocide and rejects them,” Kang Shrim said.
This figure does not concern the mass killings of Khmers by Khmers, which are not considered genocide by the United Nations.
Cue Champon is the third Khmer Rouge figure to be sentenced by this special court, which is made up of Cambodian and international judges.
Kaing Keuk Eve, also known as Douch, was sentenced to life in prison for war crimes and crimes against humanity. The former torturer, head of the country’s most feared detention center at the time, S21, died in 2020 at the age of 77.
The judges handed down the same sentence to the movement’s ideologue, Noon Xia, for genocide against Vietnamese and Sam Muslims and crimes against humanity. He died in August 2019 at the age of 93. “Brother Number One”, Pol Pot, died without judgment in 1998.
The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) is preparing to close its doors without disposing of the controversies that have undermined them from the start.
Charges against three men accused of genocide or crimes against humanity have been dropped in recent years, a reminder of their fragility in a country ruled by repentant former Khmer Rouge commander Hun Sen, who has spoken out against any new trials in the nation’s name. Stability.
Compared to the number of convictions, its cost, more than $330 million, fueled suspicions.
But the judges were able to “revitalize the process of national reconciliation”, a nuance with AFP Craig Etcheson, a country expert who testified at a hearing. Public participation, lots of testimony… “In sixteen years, there’s been tremendous progress,” he explains.
Its operation should serve as a “model for investigating serious crimes and massacres internationally in the future,” Binh Chin, Cambodia’s deputy prime minister, told a press conference after the speech.
With its last case closed, the court is due to be dissolved in 2025 after completing its archival work.
This article was published automatically. Sources: ats / afp
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