Almost nine years after investigations began into former Khmer Rouge official Yim Tith, more commonly known as Ta Tith, the Khmer Rouge tribunal announced on Tuesday that the inquiries had concluded, opening the door to the case either going to trial or being thrown out.
Yim Tith was charged in 2015 with crimes including the alleged genocide of the ethnic minority Khmer Krom, and is the last defendant in cases 003 and 004 to see his investigation concluded.
If no parties request further investigative action within the next 15 days, it paves the way for the court’s co-investigating judges to either issue an indict- ment or dismiss the charges altogether.
Prime Minister Hun Sen—a former Khmer Rouge cadre—has publicly opposed any trials beyond the regime’s top leadership, claiming it could result in Cambodia falling back into civil war. The announcement comes after a confidential document was leaked last month in which the investigating judges said they were considering a “permanent stay on proceedings” due to a lack of funds.