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Victim impact hearings
Nine Civil Parties have been scheduled to appear in Case 002/01 next week to give testimony on the harm the have suffered. 75 minutes have been allocated to each Civil Party. 45 minutes of the time will be given to Civil Party lawyers for questioning, and 30 minutes will be split between the Co-Prosecutors and the defence teams. The hearings will take place on 27, 29, and 30 May 2013.

You can watch the hearings through ECCC's live video feed.

English: http://www.eccc.gov.kh/en/live-stream
Khmer: http://www.eccc.goc.kh/live-stream
French: http://www.eccc.gov.kh/fr/live-stream

In court this week
Four witnesses and one Civil Party gave testimonies during the trial hearings in Case 002/01 this week.

Mr. Ieng Phan, who told the Trial Chamber he joined the Khmer Rouge army in 1970 following the public call by Norodom Sihanouk, testified on Monday 20 May. Mr. Prom Sou, who said he was assigned to propaganda work in the Khmer Rouge in 1971, testified in the morning sessions on 21 and 22 May.
Mr. Philippe Julliaan-Gafures and Mr. Chau Soc Kon appeared on video-link from France to be questioned on Khieu Samphan's character during the afternoon sessions these two days.

On Thursday 23 May, Mr. Chau Ny, a Civil Party who had first appeared before the Trial Chamber on 23 November last year was recalled to be questioned about allegations he had made against Khieu Samphan when he previously appeared. He was also allowed to pose questions to Khieu Samphan about the fate of his late uncle. Khieu Samphan responded directly to the questions from Mr. Chau. Video clip of the exchange: http://www.eccc.gov.kh/en/blog/2013/05/24/khieu-samphans-responds-questions-civil-party

A comprehensive summary of each hearing day is available on the Cambodia Tribunal Monitor web site. (The ECCC is not responsible for content on external web sites, and inclusion in this newsletter does not imply endorsement.)

"Khmer Rouge: Is it true, or not?"
Despite being introduced to the Khmer Rouge through the curriculum, some students remain skeptical and ask if what they learned happened in Cambodia really is true.

Read a report from a recent ECCC lecture at Svay Rieng University:
http://www.eccc.gov.kh/en/blog/2013/05/21/khmer-rouge-it-true-or-not

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This weekly newsletter is published by the ECCC Public Affairs Section for the purpose of providing the subscribers with updated information about the recent developments at the ECCC. It is not an official document.

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Protective measures in the ECCC proceedings

When a witness, civil party or complainant requests protection measures or informs an officer of the court that they have security or confidentiality concerns, they are referred to the  ECCC's Witness and Expert Support Unit (WESU). 

There are many ways a person can inform the ECCC that they have a concern.  A civil party or a complainant might make a note on their official application form, or they may inform the ECCC's Victims Support Section (VSS) or, for civil parties, their civil party lawyer.  A witness, civil party or complainant may be interviewed by an officer from the Office of the Co-Investigating Judges and they may inform the investigators conducting the interview, or they may tell the Judges themselves.  However, if a person informs the ECCC that they have concerns they will always be directed to WESU.

When WESU learns that a Civil Party or witnesses has concerns about security or confidentiality, its staff will  meet with them in person to discuss the concerns.  Witness protection can be a complex matter, and not easily summarized, however there are many strategies that can be used to help safeguard the security of witnesses.

There are protective steps that witnesses can take for themselves; strategies that WESU can recommend, protection services that the Cambodian police authorities can provide, and protective measures that the Co-Investigating Judges or The Chambers can order for witnesses during the legal proceedings, for example, they can order that a witness's identity is hidden from the public.   As every individual is different and has special circumstances, it is usual that a witness who experiences threat or intimidation will require an individual protection plan for themselves.

Often people say the only thing they know about witness protection is what they have seen on movies, and this usually means they have seen that a threatened witness is "relocated", that is,  moved to a new location with a change of identify. In fact, this is the rarest form of witness protection and is only used in the most extreme cases of threat in any jurisdiction, national or international. 

In relation to the protective measures that the Co-Investigation Judges or The Chambers can order for witnesses, it is important to understand that while witnesses have the right to request the Judges to order protective measures for them, they are not automatically granted on request.  Once a witness has requested protective measures, the Judges will decide whether they will grant them, and the Judges will decide what kind of measures to grant. 

The intention of the Judges is to ensure the protection of the witnesses, but before they decide on granting any witness protection measures they must consider the needs of witnesses alongside the rights of the defendants, and the need for a fair trial. The Judges will always consult with WESU before they decide on a request for protective measures for a witness.

Witness protection for the ECCC doesn't just mean protection from physical harm due to testimony.  Many witnesses feel anxiety and fear before such a big event as testifying and they need support, reassurance and accurate information about what is happening.  WESU also concerns itself with protecting witnesses from emotional and psychological stress and that is why we have developed a range of support services for witnesses which include the provision of individual services of support to every witness from the professional staff of the Transcultural Psychosocial Organisation Cambodia (TPO Cambodia).

Ms. Wendy Lobwein is Coordinator in the ECCC's Witnesses/Experts Support Unit.

Protective measures in the ECCC proceedings are reguleted in Internal Rule 29 and Practice Direction on Protective Measures

 
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Today: 24 October 2018

Victims Support Section of the ECCC