The pre-trial chamber of the UN-backed Khmer Rouge Tribunal yesterday began its three-day appeal hearing of case 004/2 against former senior cadre Ao An.
Ao An, known as “Ta An”, is a former Khmer Rouge deputy secretary of the regime’s Central Zone.
Neth Pheaktra, the tribunal’s spokesman, yesterday said the hearings, scheduled to take place until Friday, include a public report on the case by the bench and arguments of the parties in a closed session.
He said around 400 students and teachers from Prey Veng province attended the open session hearing yesterday.
“The Chamber is expected to issue its considerations on the appeals within the fourth quarter of 2019,” Mr Pheaktra said.
In a statement released after yesterday’s session, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia said it had heard opening statements on the case following an introduction from the chamber.
“The hearing began with a public introduction by the President of the Chamber, followed by the public reading of a case report, which set out the relevant facts and procedural history of Case 004/2, as well as the details of the Appeals currently before the Chamber.” it said. “The remainder of the session took place in camera, during which the National and International Co Prosecutors presented their arguments on appeal.”
The hearing will continue today and tomorrow in accordance with the scheduling order issued on June 3, the statement added.
A report of the case released yesterday said Mr An was born in 1933 in Taing Svay village in Kampong Chhnang province.
It noted that his birth name is recorded as Oam Yoeung or Ao Yoeungan and he currently resides in Battambang province.
Mr An has provided the pre-trial chamber with medical report stating that for health reasons he is unfit to travel the long distance to attend the hearing in the capital.
He is being represented by co-defence lawyers Mom Luch, Richard Rogers and Gôran Sluiter.
Mr An was charged in 2015 with premeditated homicide and crimes against humanity and in 2016, he was charged with additional crimes, including genocide.
In August last year, the co-investigating judges issued separate closing orders against him. The national co-investigating judge issued a dismissal of the case, finding that Mr An did not fall within the personal jurisdiction of the court.
The international co-investigating judge indicted him for genocide, crimes against humanity and violations of the 1956 Cambodian Penal Code.
The differing closing orders prompted an appeal for the case to be re-heard.
So far three of the regime’s leaders have been sentenced to life imprisonment by the court; they are Kaing Guek Eav, alias Duch who commanded the S-21, former head of state Khieu Samphan and Nuon Chea, former deputy secretary of the Communist Party of Kampuchea.