ECCC Denies Duch Motion for Public Hearing

The Khmer Rouge tribunal on Fri­day refused to allow a public hearing ahead of next week’s decision on an appeal against the indictment of former S-21 prison chairman Kaing Guek Eav, better known as Duch, one of his lawyers said.

In their appeal, prosecutors say Duch, 66, who was indicted in Aug­ust for war crimes and crimes against humanity, should also be charged as a member of a joint criminal enterprise, a legal theory under which the accused can be held responsible for crimes carried out by other people.

Prosecutors say all five of the court’s defendants engaged in such an enterprise in governing Cam­bodia from 1975 to 1979.

Lawyers for all five defendants say they are opposed to the doctrine’s use, which could bind them in collective responsibility, but only Duch’s lawyers may argue against the prosecutors’ appeal.

Francois Roux, Duch’s French lawyer, said he was to file a pleading Monday to argue against this.

“It is not correct to decide the question of joint criminal enterprise in the absence of the people concerned,” he said.

He added that on Nov 17 he had asked for a public hearing because deliberations in the appeal have been very lengthy and also be­cause scholars raised new arguments while briefing the court on joint criminal enterprise.

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