[JURIST] The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia [official website] on Monday denied [press release] a second request for release on bail by former Khmer Rouge official Ieng Thirith [JURIST news archive]. Ieng was Minister of Social Action in the Democratic Kampuchea regime, and is currently under investigation for charges of crimes against humanity. In Novermber 2007, investigating judges ordered her arrest [JURIST report] and provisional detention. The order was extended for another year in November 2008. The decision on Monday also dismissed Ieng's appeal against the extension, finding that:
provisional detention still remains a necessary measure to prevent the Charged Person from exerting pressure on witnesses or destroying evidence. Furthermore, the Pre-Trial Chamber deems detention necessary in order to ensure the presence of the Charged Person during the judicial proceedings and to preserve public order.Ieng's lawyer said that they will further pursue the issue at trial. Ieng maintains that another former Khmer Rouge official, Nuon Chea [GenocideWatch report], was responsible for the crimes for which she has been charged.
The ECCC is in the midst of the first trial of a former Khmer Rouge leader, Kaing Guek Eav [TrialWatch backgrounder, JURIST news archive], also known as "Duch." In late April, Kaing admitted to training prison staff to use torture [JURIST report] to obtain confessions from prisoners, after he accepted responsibility [JURIST report] for the deaths of 12,000 Cambodians in the S-21 prison camp [backgrounder]. Kaing's trial is the first of eight [JURIST report] that the ECCC hopes to hear against former members of the Khmer Rouge, which has been accused of murdering 1.7 million Cambodians during its nearly four-year reign.