Prosecutor v Kaing Guek Eav, alias ‘Duch’ Report No.1, Initial Hearings (February 17 – 18, 2009)
After several months of anticipation and a decade of negotiations, initial hearings in the case of The Prosecutor v Kaing Guek Eav alias ‘Duch’ were held at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal (‘KRT’) this week, heralding the opening of this unique hybrid tribunal’s first trial. In what was the first instance in which the Trial Chamber had assembled in public, the bench efficiently and effectively ran proceedings under the stewardship of the President Nil Nonn. The two-day hearings focused largely on procedural issues, with the majority of the discussion centering on the parties’ proposed witness lists. Civil party lawyers tended to dominate the proceedings, with the four teams responsible for the current 28 accepted victim participants both raising and rebutting the bulk of issues.