KRT Denies Lawyerless Civil Parties More Time to Prove Case

The Khmer Rouge tribunal on Wednesday rejected a request for an extended deadline for nearly 600 civil parties to show proof of their claims of suffering, according to a person briefed on the matter.

The court this month appointed lawyers to nearly 800 people who are seeking recognition as victims of the Khmer Rouge regime but did so more than a month after a deadline had passed for them to provide evidence of their claims.

Three court-appointed lawyers assigned to 569 previously unrepresented civil party applicants wrote on Aug 6 asking that the court’s co-investigating judges grant them an extension of time to provide evidence. Of the 4,000 people seeking recognition, those that had been unrepresented faced the greatest disadvantages due to poor levels of education and remote dwellings, according to the lawyers.

The co-investigating judges are to rule next month on the validity of all civil party applications.

However on Wednesday, they rejected the three lawyers’ request, according to a person who spoke on condition of anonymity because the matter is confidential.

Lars Olsen, legal affairs spokesman for the court, said that the decision was final.

“It is not possible with the timeframe we are dealing with to extend the deadline any further,” he said.

Mr Olsen, however, rejected the idea that the denial of an extension would necessarily hinder the their cases.

“It is a misconception to believe that because you didn’t file additional information you will be rejected,” he said, adding that if the applicants in question were rejected and chose to appeal, the Pre-Trial Chamber would be made aware that they did not have legal representation until August.


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