CJA represents 45 survivors of the Khmer Rouge regime in the second and final trial against former senior leaders Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan before the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia. Case 002/02 began on October 17, 2014 and covers the remaining charges against the two senior leaders following the initial judgment in Case 002/01. On November 16, 2018, Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan were found guilty of crimes against humanity, including forced marriage and rape, genocide of the Vietnamese, and grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions. Nuon Chea was also separately convicted of genocide of the Muslim Cham. Both were sentenced to life imprisonment. The Trial Chamber merged the life sentences imposed in Case 002/2 with those imposed in Case 002/1, following their convictions for the forced evacuation of Phnom Penh, to form a single life sentence for each of the accused.
The trial concerned alleged crimes committed at four security centers (S-21 prison, Kraing Ta Chan, Au Kanseng, and Phnom Kraol security centers), three work sites (1st January Dam, Trapeang Thma Dam, and Kampong Chhnang Airport Construction Site) and at the Tram Kok Cooperative. The trial was split into five segments, with a victim impact hearing at the end of each segment where the court heard directly from survivors and civil parties. For more details on the the trial, .
Although Khieu Samphan and Nuon Chea received life sentences in Case 002/01, the court’s work in Case 002/02 is vitally important for accountability in Cambodia. As observed by the National Co-Prosecutor Ms. Chea Leang in her opening statements at the trial in Case 002/02:
“Of all the crimes in Democratic Kampuchea, there was none graver than the relentless and systematic effort of the senior Khmer rouge leaders to identify and smash all those they feared could one day oppose them: those who came from families not considered part of the peasant or worker class, those associated with the former government, those viewed as suspect because they came from the cities, those who failed to obey and dared to question the policy of the Communist Party of Kampuchea, and those who tried to flee and escape the Khmer Rouge.
An endless and ever escalating cycle of violence against the Cambodian people, which left a land of mass graves and missing relatives. This was the truly heinous legacy of the CPK leaders who sit before us today. So, for those who have asked why we need another trial when these Accused, elderly men, have already received life sentences, the answer is simple. We are here because the millions of Cambodians who did not survive this regime, for whom the 3 years, 8 months, and 20 days of Democratic Kampuchea meant only toil and dust, suffering and grief, pain and death.”
The ECCC provides a terrific brief video introduction to Case 002/02. Videos of the trial proceedings are available on the Court’s archive .