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ECCC releases full text of Khmer Rouge leader appeal judgment

The Supreme Court Chamber of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) [official website] on Monday released the full text [PDF] of its appeals judgment in the case of Kaing Guek Eav [NYT backgrounder], also known as "Duch." Case 001, [ECCC backgrounder], which was the first case before the ECCC, was originally decided by the Supreme Court Chamber on February 3 of this year, but the full judgment was not released until Monday. Kaing was found guilty and sentenced to life [JURIST report] for committing various crimes against humanity and grave breaches of the Geneva Convention of 1949. In its full judgment, the Supreme Court Chamber addressed issues concerning personal jurisdiction, errors of law, and errors concerning the original sentencing among others in its full opinion. The Supreme Court Chamber overturned the July 2010 decision [JURIST report] that imposed 35 years of imprisonment, citing that it was made in error because it focused on the mitigating factors such as cooperation, regret and apology [JURIST report] rather than the seriousness of the crimes. The judgment was released in both English and Khmer.

Kaing is the only former Khmer Rouge leader to have been convicted by the ECCC. Ieng Sary, Ieng Thirith, Khieu Samphan and Nuon Chea were indicted [JURIST report] in September 2010. The ECCC ruled that Ieng Thirith was unfit to stand trial, but the Supreme Court Chamber in December ordered that she remain in detention [JURIST reports] and that the Trial Chamber exhaust all measures so that she can stand trial. The other three went on trial [JURIST report] in November. In October 2010, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen informed the UN that Cambodia will not allow further prosecutions of low-ranking Khmer Rouge officers [JURIST report].

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