Duch ECCC testimony, Mladic witness cross examined, UN Report on ISIS crimes against Yazidis and PEV victims app to ICC

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Further testimony of Duch before ECCC: In Case 002/02 against Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan, former chief of Khmer Rouge S-21 prison Kaing Guek Eav, also known as Duch, continued his testimony for the sixth day on 15 June 2017. Speaking on the level of involvement of Khieu Samphan – the former Khmer Rouge Head of State – in the commission of crimes during the regime, Duch described how he had been remonstrated by Nuon Chea (Pol Pot’s second-in-command) for recording Samphan’s name in a prisoner’s confession which implicated Samphan in crimes including genocide. Following questions from Judge Jean-Marc Lavergne, Duch confirmed he had subsequently scrubbed Samphan’s name from the prisoner’s confession, and had made similar alterations to remove the name of Foreign Minister Ieng Sary’s son-in-law from confession records. Duch also described the execution of around 600 Thai prisoners in Preah Sihanouk province, which he alleged was overseen by Khim Vat, who would later become his deputy at the regime’s S-21 prison. Duch himself was the first Khmer Rouge official to be convicted by the ECCC: he was found guilty of crimes against humanity in 2010. (The Cambodia Daily)

ICTY Prosecution cross-examines Mladic witness: The ICTY Prosecutor has cross-examined defence witness Andrei Demurenko – a Russian Colonel and former chief of UNPROFOR’s Headquarters in Sarajevo – during the ongoing trial of former Bosnian Serb wartime commander Ratko Mladic. Regarding the death of 43 people at the Markale market in 1995, Mr Demurenko testified that the fatal projectile could not have been fired by the Bosnian Serb Army, as UNPROFOR had investigated the territory under Bosnian Serb control and found no trace of mine-throwers. He furthermore stated that the Bosnian Serb strategic positions were inappropriately located for mine-throwers. ICTY Prosecutor Alan Tieger countered Mr Demurenko’s testimony, asserting that the Colonel had incorrectly assessed the direction from which the projectile had come; had investigated an overly-narrow corridor of possible mine-thrower positions; had not considered the variations of weaponry that could have been fired; and had neglected the possibility that the projectile could have been fired from a further six position beyond the six investigated by UNPROFOR. Mr Demurenko maintained that these additional considerations would not have changed the outcome of his investigation. His testimony will help determine whether Ratko Mladic is criminally responsible for terrorising the civilian population of Sarajevo with artillery and sniper attacks from 1992-1995. (Balkan Insight)

UN report finds that ISIS committed genocide against Yazidis: A report prepared by the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria, released on 15 June 2016, has found that ISIS has committed genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity against the Yazidis in Iraq and Syria. The report found that the group was forcibly transferred and held by ISIS, and that men and boys were separated from women and girls and forced to convert and support ISIS or be killed. The report found that these actions were taken in order to “destroy their identity as Yazidis.” The report further stated that the major powers should have done more to assist the Yazidis, and called on the UN Security Council to refer the matter to the International Criminal Court. (BBC, UN Report)

Victims of Kenyan PEV fill application before ICC for compensation: The victims of the 2007-2008 post-election violence in Kenya have filed an application for compensation before the ICC. The application has been made on the basis that the Kenyan government should be compelled to pay compensation, having failed to do so to date despite earlier pledges. The legal representative for the group of victims, Wilfred Nderitu, has stated that they have called for the Court to direct the ICC’s Trust Fund for Victims to urgently initiate and provide assistance to all those affected by the post-electoral violence. The victims have furthermore called on the ICC judges to ensure that some justice is done through compensation, in spite of the collapse of the prosecution of key Kenyan officials at the ICC earlier this year: on 5 April 2016, Trial Chamber V terminated the ongoing case against Mr Ruto and journalist Joshua Arap Sang – without prejudice to future re-prosecution – on the basis that there was no case to answer. (Hivisasa National County News)

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