The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) [official website] on Wednesday dismissed [press release] charges against Im Chaem, a Buddhist nun suspected of playing a role in the Khmer Rouge regime. The judges in the case said they lacked jurisdiction to decide Im Chaem’s case as she was “neither a senior leader nor … one of the … officials of the Khmer Rouge regime.” The full reasons for dismissal will be filed at a later date.
Im Chaem was thought to have run a forced labor camp during the between 1975 and 1979 when the Khmer Rouge killed [BBC backgrounder] approximately 20 percent of the Cambodian population. Cambodia has struggled, at great expense, to bring former Khmer Rouge officials to justice. Last November the ECCC upheld [JURIST report] the life sentences of two key Khmer Rouge officials. However, the ECCC has been criticized [REUTERS report] for only convicting three Khmer Rouge officials—at a cost of USD $260 million—during its 10-year existence.