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Khmer Rouge Leaders To Remain in Detention

The Trial Chamber of the Khmer Rouge tribunal on Wednesday ruled to hold in detention three leaders of the regime currently awaiting an atrocity crimes trial.

In 17 days of hearings, prosecution successfully argued that pre-trial release of Nuon Chea, Khieu Samphan and Ieng Thirith would create a flight risk and endanger their trials, for crimes including genocide.

The fourth leader in detention, Ieng Sary, did not file for release.

Trial Chamber judge Nil Nonn said in the decision the three would continue to be held “to ensure the presence of the accused persons at the trial.”

Defense lawyers have argued their clients have been held beyond the mandated limits of pre-trial detention under the rules of the UN-backed court.

But Nil Nonn said they should remain in detention, especially considering the “serious crimes” with which they are charged.

Sar Savan, a laywer for Khieu Samphan, who was the nominal head of the regime, said the tribunal “did not respect the law.”