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Cambodia genocide tribunal announces declassification of war crimes trial documents

The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) [official website], Cambodia's UN-supported war crimes tribunal, announced Thursday that it would declassify more than 1,700 documents [press release, PDF] including "victims' 'confessions' and biographies, witness statements, transcripts of in camera hearings, and rogatory letters." The documents being declassified are those which were part of "Case 001" which resulted in a guilty verdict and life sentence [JURIST reports] for former Khmer Rouge [BBC backgrounder] official Kaing Guek Eav [case materials; JURIST news archive]. The ECCC hopes that declassification will "promote a genuine public discussion of Cambodia's tragic past based on firm evidence."

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 July the ECCC appointed a new judge to prosecute two new war crime cases [JURIST report].

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