My deepest condolences to the family of Reach Sambath (a fellow orphan who took refuge with my family in my paternal grandfather's house in Svay Rieng in 1978) as they mourn his passing away earlier tonight. My prayers and thoughts are with you.
- Theary, Phnom Penh, 11 May 2011
Reach Sambath and Theary Seng at RFA call-in show (Phnom Penh, April 2011)
. . .
11 May 2011
ECCC Press Release
Chief of Public Affairs of the ECCC passed away
Further to the press release earlier today, we sadly confirm that Mr. Reach Sambath, Chief of the Public Affairs Section of the ECCC, passed away at 8:45 pm at the Calmet Hospital. He was 47 and survived by his wife and 3 childrens.
Our deep condolences lie with his family at this difficult time.
Statement by the National Co-Prosecutor Regarding Case File 003 10 May 2011
The National Co-Prosecutor, CHEA Leang, makes this public statement pursuant to ECCC Internal Rule 54 regarding Case File 003.
In view of the first preliminary investigation by the International Co-Prosecutor and the latest investigation leading to the closure of investigation by the Co-Investigating Judges, the National Co-Prosecutor thoroughly examined and maintained that the suspects mentioned the Case File 003 were not either senior leaders or those who were most responsible during the period of Democratic Kampuchea.
Founder, President of the Cambodia-based First-registered Victims Association Theary Seng Urges Civil Party Lawyers, the NGOs, the Victims Support Section to Assist Interested Victims to File in Cases 003 and 004
The International Co-Prosecutor, Andrew Cayley, makes this public statement pursuant to ECCC Internal Rule 54, to ensure that the public is duly informed about ongoing ECCC proceedings, and in particular with regard to the International Co-Prosecutor’s Introductory Submission in Case File 003. In providing this information the interests of victims and witnesses, the rights of suspects, and the requirements of the investigation have been taken into account, as required under the Rules.
Following directions given by the Pre-Trial Chamber, on 7 September 2009, the International Co-Prosecutor submitted to the Co-Investigating Judges two Introductory Submissions opening judicial investigations into various crimes in Cases 003 and 004. These submissions named a total of five (5) suspects who the Co-Prosecutor believes are responsible for the alleged crimes and fall within the jurisdiction of the ECCC. Under the ECCC Internal Rules, the Co-Investigating Judges are required to investigate the criminal allegations contained in these submissions.
The Case 003 Introductory Submission addresses alleged crimes of murder, extermination, torture, unlawful imprisonment, enslavement, persecution and other inhumane acts. If proven, these acts would constitute crimes against humanity, grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions and violations of the 1956 Cambodian Penal Code.
Crimes required to be judicially investigated as part of Case 003 took place at several crime sites and criminal episodes covered by Case 002, including the S-21 Security Centre, the Kampong Chhnang Airport Construction Site, purges of the East[when my family and me were taken to Wat Tlork and Boeung Rai Security Centers in the East Zone during these purges], Central and New North Zones, and incursions into Vietnam, as well as the following new crime sites and criminal episodes:
(1) S-22 Security Centre in the Phnom Penh area;
(2) Wat Eng Tea Nhien Security Centre in Kampong Som Province;
(3) Stung Hav Rock Quarry forced labour site in Kampong Som Province;
(4) Capture of foreign nationals off the coast of Cambodia and their unlawful imprisonment, transfer to S-21 or murder[Rob Hamill's brother Kerry!]; and
(5) Security centres operated in Rattanakiri Province.
On 29 April 2011, the Office of the Co-Prosecutors received notification that the Co-Investigating Judges considered the investigation in Case 003 to be concluded. Having carefully reviewed the Case File, the International Co-Prosecutor intends to request further investigative actions regarding the alleged crimes, within the 15 day period specified in ECCC Internal Rule 66 (1). Among other things, the International Co-Prosecutor will request the Co-Investigating Judges to:
1. Summon and question the suspects named in the Case File 003 Introductory Submission, and notify them that they are under investigation;
2. Interview additional individuals who have been identified as potential witnesses thus far;
3. Interview or re-interview witnesses identified in Case File 002, focusing on the specific allegations contained in the Case File 003 Introductory Submission;
4. Examine further the crime sites (including by searching for mass grave locations);
5. Place additional evidence on the Case File, including by transferring further evidence from Case File 002 to Case File 003; and
6. Further investigate the involvement of the Case 003 suspects in the crimes, including the transfer of prisoners under their control to S-21, their receipt of “confessions” taken from prisoners murdered at S-21, and their involvement in further arrests.
The International Co-Prosecutor will request these actions as he is of the view that the crimes alleged in the Introductory Submission have not been fully investigated. He has a legal obligation under the Internal Rules and the Law of the ECCC to identify and request all reasonable investigative actions which should be taken by the Co-Investigating Judges before a decision is made as to the whether or not any individuals should be indicted and sent for trial.
Notification to Potential Civil Parties in Case File 003
Pursuant to Internal Rule 23bis, individuals who wish to apply to become Civil Parties in Case File 003 must submit applications no later than 15 days from the date on which the Co-Investigating Judges notified the Co-Prosecutors that they consider the investigation to be concluded. Applying the relevant legal provisions, the International Co-Prosecutor is of the view that the deadline for Civil Party applications now falls on Wednesday, 18 May 2011 at 4 pm.
Considering that the crime sites under investigation have not previously been made public, the International Co-Prosecutor will request the Co-Investigating Judges to extend the deadline for a further six weeks in order to allow reasonable time for victims to submit Civil Party applications. However, at present, the only guarantee that a Civil Party application will be considered by the Co-Investigating Judges is by having it filed by 18 May 2011 at 4.00pm. In the event that the Co-Investigating Judges extend the deadline the public will be notified.
Under Internal Rule 23bis (1) and Article 3.2 of the Practice Direction on Victim Participation, a victim is defined as a natural person or legal entity that has suffered physical, material or psychological injury as a direct consequence of at least one of the alleged crimes.
Victims wishing to apply should contact the ECCC Victims Support Section, fill out and file a Victim Information Form this week. The office is open Monday to Friday except on public holidays. The address is:
Victims Support Section
Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia National
Notification to Potential Complainants in Case File 003
Individuals in possession of information regarding the crimes under investigation may submit that information to the Co-Prosecutors. Under Rule 49 (2), complaints or information may be lodged with the Co-Prosecutors by any person, organisation or other source who witnessed or was a victim of the alleged crimes, or who has knowledge of the alleged crimes.
Rule 49 places on the Co-Prosecutors an ongoing duty to evaluate complaints or information alleging commission of crimes within the jurisdiction of the ECCC. Where the Co-Prosecutors receive complaints or information relevant to an ongoing judicial investigation, they may forward such complaints or information to the Co-Investigating Judges to be placed on the case file as evidence. Complaints or information may be submitted through the Victims Support Section, or to the Office of the Co-Prosecutors directly. While there is no specified deadline for the filing of complaints, the International Co-Prosecutor encourages victims or witnesses who wish to make a complaint about the crimes described in Case File 003 to do so as soon as possible.
Theary Seng with her four brothers and their mother in Phnom Penh, most likely in 1974. In early 1978 for a period of 5-6 months, all six of them and their paternal grandfather were imprisoned in Wat Tlork Security Center and later transferred to Boeung Rai Security Center where the Khmer Rouge killed their mother Seng Chan Eat.
Letter to The Phnom Penh Post
Published on Monday, 9 May 2011
Injustice, Deceit at Two-hundred-million-dollar Court for KI Victims:
Truth is a Pre-Condition of Justice
On Sunday, May 8, the Americans celebrated Mother’s Day. We, Cambodians, can join them in honoring our mothers and grandmothers by demanding greater, more dignified justice from the Khmer Rouge Tribunal.
The Khmer Rouge created over 1,200,000 orphans of whom I am one when they extinguished 1,700,000 lives including those of my father and mother. The last words of my mother—My daughter, go back to sleep—continue to haunt me, as she lulled me in her arms the night of her violent death in Boeung Rai Security Center whose mass graves contained 30,000 skulls.
My parents and those of the 1,200,000 other orphans’ were flesh and blood—with a name, a history, a family—and not some statistics or legal theories to be conveniently disposed of—again!—by the Tribunal.
We honor them by demanding justice. Whatever justice may be—legal, social, restorative, etc.—it must include TRUTH. TRUTH IS A PRE-CONDITION OF JUSTICE. Truth involves who speaks and who gets heard. In extinguishing Cases 003 and 004, the Tribunal extinguishes truth; it extinguishes justice; it extinguishes the voices of victims—those who died and those who survived—and our right to REPARATIONS.
We have been crudely conditioned to think of reparations mainly in monetary terms, which factor but insignificantly to what we desire of truth via reparations. It is useful to think of reparations with these six "Rs":
1. RECOGNITION. There must be public recognition of the crimes, of the perpetrators and of the suffering of the victims. This recognition must include obligations of the State. Not only has the Tribunal been negligent in recognizing the suffering of the victims, it is being deceitful about its dealings of Cases 003/004.
2. RIGHT TO REMEDY. This includes rights of participation, of design, of citizenship.
3. REPAIR. Even if symbolic.
4. REFORM. Let’s start with the judiciary!
5. REAL AND REALISTIC. The reparations offered must be tangible and practical, e.g. provincial learning centers and memorials; the physical assets of the Tribunal to furnish these learning centers and memorials.
6. RECONCILIATION. It is not a moment but a process; it is not a principle but a strategy. What is happening now with regards to Cases 003/004 works against reconciliation as it works against truth-seeking.
The Tribunal (including the UN) is engaging in great deceit. It thinks that truth is inconvenient, justice is inconvenient. Well, so are 1,200,000 orphans living without our parents for the last 35 years.
But let me conclude not with these sordid facts but with the inspiration from the reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to raise all of us to higher grounds from the dirt of the Tribunal:
“Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice. Justice at its best is love correcting everything that stands against love.”
- Theary C. Seng, president of CIVICUS: Center for Cambodian Civic Education; president of Association of Khmer Rouge Victims of which the Civil Parties of Orphans Class is a subgroup.
Boeung Rai Security Center where the Khmer Rouge imprisoned Theary Seng and her family and killed her mother, Seng Chan Eat. Among the 30,000 skulls, these are the only ones remaining: over the years, the villagers have been taking the skulls at liberty to grind them into traditional medicine. The bones are still in the mass graves in and around the pagoda and the nearby prison. This government has done absolutely nothing to preserve the other 200 security centers around the country, besides Tuol Sleng which came into being as result of January 1979 politics. Theary Seng, as the only civil party accepted in Case 002 for the Boeung Rai Security Center, is still awaiting the response of the Co-Prosecutors to be on their witness list. (Photo: Theary Seng, 4 Sept. 2010).
More on the controversial Case 003 and Case 004
- Press Conference called by Theary C. Seng to file in Case 003/004 against Meas Muth and Sou Met
- Letters to the Editors - The Phnom Penh Post, The Cambodia Daily, Voice of America; Public response of the ECCC Spokespersons
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