My apologies for playing catch-up on this post. I am just returning from a trip to the provinces and was not around to cover two stories of note:
No. 1: On October 7, the tribunal made public six summons letters, dated September 25 and bearing the signature of International Co-Investigating Judge Marcel Lemonde, requesting that six government officials - Senate President Chea Sim, National Assembly President Heng Samrin, Foreign Minister Hor Namhong, Finance Minister Keat Chhon and two CPP senators – appear at the tribunal to provide testimony “in the framework of the investigation under way against Nuon Chea, Ieng Sary, Khieu Samphan and other leaders”.
The following day Prime Minister Hun Sen weighed in, saying the officials' testimony could prejudice the tribunal's second case. Speaking at Chaktomuk Theatre, he said: “These [officials] made the Pol Pot regime collapse, and they adopted the law on the Khmer Rouge tribunal, so if they go as witnesses, it would make the accused persons guilty. How is justice to be done? My main problem is that turning the plaintiffs into witnesses would doom the accused.”
No. 2: Lemonde was again in the news on Friday, when the defence team for Ieng Sary filed a motion charging that recent comments allegedly made by the judge demonstrated an “impermissible bias and predilection towards the [prosecution]” and calling for his "immediate disqualification".
The motion was based on a witness account provided by Wayne Bastin, a former chief of the Intelligence and Analysis Unit of the Office of the Co-Investigating Judges. In an affidavit signed on October 8, Bastin said that during an August meeting, Lemonde stated his preference that investigators “find more inculpatory evidence than exculpatory evidence” in the case against the former regime leaders.
On Sunday, Sa Sovann, the national lawyer for former Khmer Rouge head of state Khieu Samphan, said his team would file a similar motion.