Tag Archives: Geneva Conventions

Khmer Rouge Defense Questions Prime Minister’s Comments

5 December 2011

Image by Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia via Flickr

Defence lawyers for former Khmer Rouge Brother Number Two Nuon Chea criticized remarks made by Prime Minister Hun Sen about their client.

Co-defence counsel for Nuon Chea Michiel Pestman said in court that the remarks by Hun Sen, quoted by a journalist at a press conference in Vietnam last week, referred to Nuon Chea as a “killer” and described his statement in court last month as “deceitful”.

“This is a very clear statement about the guilt of Nuon Chea by a high government official,” Mr. Pestman said in court. He said in court that the journalist had quoted Hun Sen as allegedly calling their client “a killer and a perpetrator of genocide”. He told the court that the comments violate his client’s right to a fair trial and that it was “not up to the Prime Minister to decide whether my client is guilty”.

Ek Tha, representative at the Press and Quick Reaction Unit at the Council of Ministers, declined to comment on the premier’s alleged comments.

Nuon Chea is facing trial for genocide, crimes against humanity, and grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions.

Via the Phnom Penh Post.

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Obama Administration Resumes Military Trials

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Monday, the White House released an Executive Order on detainee policy. The Order was issued pursuant to the President’s constitutional authority and the September 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force. President Obama also made a statement.

Here are the elements of the Order and the attached fact sheet:

1. Trials for international terrorists before military commissions for will resume. Military commissions, the Supreme Court ruled, may only assert jurisdiction over violations of the law of war, not general crimes.

2. The Order establishes a periodic review of the detention of current (not future) detainees. The standard for continued detention is that an individual’s detention is “necessary to protect against a significant threat to the security of the United States.”

3. Each current detainee is entitled to a full initial review within the next year before a Periodic Review Board (PRB). Detainees are then entitled to a “file review” semiannually. If new information presents a significant question as to whether the detainee’s continued detention is warranted, a full review may result.

4. All reviews involve the following procedures:

  • Notice of the review and a summary of the factors considered by the PRB in determining whether continued detention is warranted;
  • The detainee has the right to submit evidence and witness testimony;
  • All information relevant to the inquiry will be provided, except where there are national security concerns that require the provision of a “substitute or summary”;
  • The government is not allowed adversarial discovery;
  • The detainee is entitled to a personal representative and private counsel at his expense;
  • All information is given a “reliability” determination;
  • A prompt written disposition, including recommendations;
  • Review by a Review Committee (composed of the Secretaries of Defense, Homeland Security, and State, the Attorney General, the Director of National Intelligence, and the Chair of the Joint Chiefs) when the PRB cannot reach consensus;
  • The detainees are not allowed any appeal.

5. Once detention is no longer found necessary, the Secretaries of Defense and State are to identify a suitable transfer location outside the United States. The Review Committee will review transfer efforts annually.

6. Additional criminal prosecutions will take place in Article III courts.

7. The Executive retains discretion to choose the appropriate forum for further prosecutions.

8. The fact sheet expresses support for the following frameworks governing armed conflict:

9. The Administration’s long-term plan is to close the detention facility at Guantánamo Bay.

Via IntLawGrrls.

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