Im Chaem, a former Khmer Rouge leader facing possible indictment at the UN-backed Khmer Rouge tribunal, did not appear at the court on Monday, as expected by some, leading to questions about the court’s ability to enforce potential summons going forward.
Officials close to Im Chaem in the former Khmer Rouge stronghold of Anlong Veng district, Oddar Meanchey province, say she did not go to the court because she was busy, and tribunal spokesman Lars Olsen called reports that she had been summoned a “rumor.”
It is unclear what will happen next, but tribunal monitors say they court needs to officially release the names of potential suspects in upcoming cases—something officials there have refused to do.
Im Chaem, a former Khmer Rouge commander who has been implicated in regime purges and thousands of deaths at a rural detention center, is listed as a potential suspect in Case 004, which the court has yet to prosecute.
Local authorities in Anlong Veng, speaking on condition of anonymity, say she has received a summons to appear before the court. But it appears she is so far ignoring it.
Im Chaem has said in the past she does not consider herself guilty of atrocity crimes, and she recently told local media she will not go to the court if summoned.