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Tribunal Throws Out Civil Party Appeal

The Supreme Court Chamber of the Khmer Rouge tribunal has announced it will take no action in a motion by civil parties who wanted a greater role in the closing sessions of the trial of prison chief Kaing Kek Iev.

The tribunal allows participation by victims of the regime in certain aspects of trial proceedings, though civil party lawyers.

At the close of the trial of Kaing Kek Iev, or Duch, in September, civil parties had appealed for the right to pose questions related to the defendant’s character and to have a say in his sentencing.

Duch’s trial ended in October, with a verdict and sentencing expected early in 2010, but as part of their appeal, civil parties had requested a Supreme Court Chamber review.

“The Supreme Court finds the appeal inadmissible,” said judge Kong Srim, the head of the chamber, in a Dec. 24 decision that was posted on the tribunal’s Web site Monday.

By weakening the impact on sentencing, the decision would diminish the credibility of the tribunal in the eyes of Khmer Rouge victims, said Kim Meng Khy, a civil party lawyer.

“This refusal is like a reduction in participation in finding truth and the fulfillment of justice for the victims,” he said.