Samphân Khieu

Case Name: 
Samphân Khieu
002/19-09-2007-ECCC/SC (Appeals Chamber Judgement)
Decision Date: 
November 23, 2016
Key Facts: 

On 19 November 2007, Samphân Khieu was placed under detention and charged by the ECCC for crimes against humanity (murder, extermination, imprisonment, persecution and other inhumane acts) and war crimes (willful killing, causing great suffering, unlawful deportation or transfer or unlawful confinement of a civilian).


Note: this case diverges from all of the other case law on the subject of aiding and abetting found in the ad hoc tribunals. While it appears that the Trial Court was consistent with both the Duch case and ICTY and ICTR jurisprudence - the appeals court overturned the conviction of Samphan and based its opinion on a very narrow interpretation of aiding and abetting law. This case is not very clear and deserves greater attention.

Key Passages : 

ACTUS REUS: “It would appear that in all these jurisdictions, the general principle is that criminal responsibility is ordinarily limited to the perpetrator’s own actions; as far as actions of others are concerned, a specific condition for their imputation must be determined by law – for instance that the crime in question was encompassed by an agreement or a common criminal purpose. This principle would be turned on its head if the broad liability advocated by the Co-Prosecutors were to be followed” (¶ 806).

Supreme Court Chamber