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Khmer Rouge Court Concludes Another Investigation Of Former Regime Official


Yim Tith (also known as Ta Tith), in a photo with his wife, Ung Khen, January 22, 2011. (Courtesy of Vanthan Peoudara/Documentation Center of Cambodia)

In a statement on Tuesday, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) said the decision marked the conclusion of more than eight years of investigative work.

Judges at the Khmer Rouge tribunal have closed their investigation into Yim Tith’s alleged involvement with the regime.

Tith was alleged to have held a mid-rank position in the Democratic Kampuchea regime and was accused of crimes against humanity including the persecution of Khmer Krom and Vietnamese people.

In a statement on Tuesday, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) said the decision marked the conclusion of more than eight years of investigative work.

Neth Pheaktra, ECCC spokesman, said relevant parties had 15 days to launch complaints over the decision and request further investigation.

Tith was put under court supervision in December 2015.

Long Panhavuth, a court observer, said a lack of funding was responsible for the case being concluded early. “The lack of budget is one element, but the important issue is the lack of political will,” he said.

Victims and plaintiffs, he added, would get “no justice” at the ECCC so long as the problems persisted.

“It is a great regret when these cases are voided after an investigation was conducted for eight years.”

Latt Ky, a human rights worker with local group Adhoc, said political pressure had receded somewhat since the court appeared to back off from confrontation with the government over prosecutions.

“Everyone is aware that all the suspects are responsible people but it depends on the impartial professionalism of the co-investigating judges. So, the co-investigating judges will make a decision based on their understanding,” he said.

Tith’s case is part of Case 004, which includes other high-profile suspects, such as Im Chaem and Ao An. In February the judges dropped their case against Chaem, claiming it did not fall within the court’s jurisdiction as she was not considered a senior Khmer Rouge regime official.

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