The Pre-Trial Chamber of the UN-backed Khmer Rouge Tribunal yesterday heard the arguments of parties in Case 003 against former Khmer Rouge navy commander Meas Muth.
The Pre-Trial Chamber, which comprises of three national and two international judges, began commencing hearings in Case 003 yesterday against Mr Muth until Friday.
Neth Pheaktra, the tribunal spokesman, said that the hearing was conducted to hear the oral arguments of the parties in Case 003 in which Mr Muth is the accused.
Mr Pheaktra said that the hearing was not substantive to examine the evidence, but the hearing on the appeal in Case 003 in which the parties have filed against orders of the co-investigating judges.
“Meas Muth did not attend the hearing,” Mr Pheaktra said.
Mr Muth, 81, who is living in Battambang’s Samlot district, was charged for crime against humanity and other crimes when he served his role as navy commander in Sihanoukville during the 1975-1979 Democratic Kampuchea regime.
Mr Muth’s lawyer Ang Udom said that his team is challenging the tribunal over his client’s role, noting that the case does not fall under the tribunal’s jurisdiction.
“He is a low-ranking official and not a senior official,” Mr Udom said, adding that Mr Muth was sick.
Mr Pheaktra said that the Pre-Trial Chamber is expected to issue the verdict on the appeal against the Closing Order in Case 003 in early 2020 whether the case will be sent to trial or dropped.
Three of the regime’s top leaders were sentenced to life imprisonment by the Khmer Rouge tribunal; they are Kaing Guek Eav, alias Duch who commanded the S-21 prison, former head of state Khieu Samphan and Nuon Chea, former deputy secretary of the Communist Party of Kampuchea, who died in August.