PRESS RELEASE 07 April 2011
Rob HAMILL Files Civil Party Application in Case 003/004 against Khmer Rouge Military Commanders MEAS Muth and SOU Met at the Extraordinary Chambers of the Courts in Cambodia (ECCC)
Between April 17 1975 and 6 January 1979 more than 1,700,000 people were murdered, starved or worked to death during the rule of the Khmer Rouge regime, yet to date only one person has stood trial for the atrocities.
An 26 July 2010, Kaing Guek Eav (alias Duch) was sentenced to 35 years in prison for his role as commandant of S21 (aka Toul Sleng), the Phnom Penh based prison that tortured and murdered approximately 14,00 people.
The Extraordinary Chambers of the Courts in Cambodia (ECCC) is close to beginning Case 002, the trial of the four highest ranking surviving leaders of the Khmer Rouge regime: Mr. NUON Chea, Mr. IENG Sary, Mr. KHIEU Samphan and Mrs. IENG Thirith.
However, investigations into Case 003/004 of five unnamed individuals who operated in the high echelons of the Khmer Rouge regime is sitting in limbo largely due to overt political interference and UN lethargy.
HAMILTON, NEW ZEALAND, 7 April 2011:
On Friday, 8 April 2011, Mr Rob HAMILL, in his private capacity, is lodging an application to become a Civil Party in Case 003/004 against Khmer Rouge commanders Mr MEAS Muth and Mr SOU Met, two of the five individuals believed to be under investigation by the United Nations personnel at the Office of Co-Investigating Judges of the ECCC.
Mr HAMILL’S Civil Party application will be only the second to be submitted to the ECCC for Case 003/004, the first being from Cambodian human rights activist and Khmer Rouge survivor Ms Theary SENG (www.thearyseng.com) on Monday 4 April 2011.
Mr HAMILL holds Mr MEAS Muth and Mr SOU Met personally, individually, criminally responsible for the death of his brother Kerry Hamill, inter alia, for their roles as military commanders who contributed to the common purpose and design in the arrests and executions specifically in their respective divisions and generally for the whole of Cambodia and who also controlled the Navy and Air Force of Democratic Kampuchea, respectively.
Particular emphasis is given to MEAS Muth, who, in his role as commander of the Khmer Rouge navy played a pivotal role in the capture of Rob Hamill’s brother, Kerry Hamill who, on 13 August 1978, was moored off Koh Tang Island when attacked by a Khmer Rouge gunboat and taken prisoner at Toul Sleng prison in Phnom Penh. Kerry Hamill was tortured, forced to sign a confession that he was a CIA operative, then executed. Both Meas Muth and SOU Met knew of and contributed countless victims to Toul Sleng prison.
“One of my concerns lies in the fact that Case 003 and 004 appears to be dormant. In fact, there is growing information suggesting the imminent dropping of the case,” says Mr Hamill.
“For me and my family this is not good enough. It harks back to the post Khmer Rouge cold war politics of the time. In the late 1970’s through to the mid 1980’s many countries still recognised the Khmer Rouge leadership at the UN. This included the National Party lead Government of the time here in New Zealand that still acknowledged Pol Pot’s regime at the UN.”
“At the time my father, Miles Hamill, wrote many letters to our government. In one letter to the Prime Minister he wrote ‘Mr Muldoon Sir, if you can faintly understand the shock and grief I and my family are suffering over this ghastly affair, then you will surely do all in your power as the Head of New Zealand’s governing body to investigate my son’s death.’ He went onto ask ‘Why has New Zealand ever recognised the Pol Pot regime in Kampuchea? To recognise must surely mean to condone their actions as a Government?’”
“The recognition of the Pol Pot regime at that time was politically driven and was totally unacceptable to my father,” says Rob Hamill. “If the ECCC drop Case 003/004 this would be equally unacceptable.”
Immediately after the lodging of his application, he will be available for comment to discuss the matters with interested media.
Other reading material available:
- ECCC Internal Rules, 23 Feb. 2011 (Rev. 7)
- Seven Candidates for Prosecution:
- Accountability for Crimes of the Khmer Rouge By Prof. Stephen Heder and Brian D. Tittemore American University, War Crimes Research Office (June 2001)
- Judgement of ECCC Case 001
- Closing Order of ECCC Case 002 Sept. 2010
- Open Society Justice Initiative Reports