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Public Hearing Called for Khieu Samphan

Khmer Rouge tribunal judges announced this week they would open to the public an upcoming hearing over the translation of some 16,000 pages of documents in the case against Khieu Samphan.

Khieu Samphan, 77, the former nominal head of the regime, faces charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

His pre-trial detention hearing was delayed earlier this year when defense lawyers requested the translation of thousands of tribunal documents into French.

Prosecutors have since said a decision over the translation warranted only a written judgment, but the Pre-Trial Chamber said Tuesday it would hold a public hearing.

“The Pre-Trial Chamber recognizes that one of the primary bases for holding a public hearing is to allow public scrutiny of the fairness of the proceeding,” wrote judge Prak Kimsan, president of the Pre-Trial Chamber.

Defense lawyers for Khieu Samphan have argued that the absence of translated documents mean a violation of their client’s right to international defense.