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Cambodia

Defense of the victims of the Khmer Rouge - ECCC Civil Party Defense Support Office

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

The Extraordinary Chambers created within the Cambodian courts: This court, which began functioning in July 2007, was created by the Cambodian government under the aegis of the United Nations to try the main perpetrators of crimes committed under the Khmer Rouge regime between 1975 and 1979, which caused the death of three million people. It is a mixed tribunal, whose judicial staff is composed of 2/3 Cambodians and 1/3 internationals.
 
When the court was established in 2007, no funds were provided for legal representation for victims who were allowed to participate in the trial. Local associations have mobilized and have requested the support of ASF France to collect the first complaints from victims and help them build their civil party files.
 
Subsequently, the Victims' Unit (now the Court Victims Support Section (SAV)) was created and obtained some funds, but these proved to be insufficient. Several groups of Cambodian and international lawyers were created with the help of international cooperation. It is within this framework that ASF France has formed a team to ensure the defense of civil parties.

OBJECTIVES

This project aims to ensure the defense of victims before the Extraordinary Chambers created within the Cambodian Courts (ECCC) for the first two trials. The objective of this action is to have the status of victims of the Khmer Rouge regime recognized as civil parties before the ECCC. It thus participates in the restoration of the rule of law in Cambodia.

ACTIVITIES

A team of Cambodian and international lawyers has been formed to ensure the defense of a group of civil parties before the Extraordinary Chambers created within the Cambodian Courts.
 
  • Collection of testimonies and supporting documents from victims wishing to become civil parties.
  • Organization of information to victims
  • Constitution and filing of cases in court
  • Follow-up of the progress of the case in court
  • Preparation of briefs and other proceedings
  • Preparation for hearings of victims and other witnesses
  • Defense in court: participation in hearings and pleadings

RESULTS

Case n°001: Trial of Kaing Gueg Eav, alias Duch, former Director of the S 21 Detention and Torture Center (Tuol Sleng), which resulted in the deaths of more than 12,000 people. The ASF France team represented 28 civil parties out of a total of 90 in this trial. On February 3, 2012, the ECCC Supreme Court Chamber sentenced Kaing Gueg Eav to life imprisonment.
 
 
Case n°002: Trial of the four former senior regime officials still alive: Khieu Samphan, Nuon Chea, Ieng Sary and Ieng Thirith. The ASF France team represents 1135 civil parties out of a total of 3867 in this trial. The judgment phase of this second trial began on June 27, 2011.
 
 
ASF France's team, acting on a pro bono basis, acts alongside other groups of Cambodian and international lawyers in order to make the voices of victims heard. For the first time before an ad hoc international tribunal, they have the opportunity to be represented at the trial as civil parties.
 

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