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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - New defence consultant for Duch

New defence consultant for Duch

Israeli newspaper Haaretz reports that Nick Kaufman, a former prosecutor at the International Criminal Court, has been appointed as a consultant for Duch's defence team following last month's verdict. Kaufman says he's been impressed by Duch's expressions of remorse and is ready to move forward with the appeal process.

"I believe in the sincerity of his regret, after meeting him last week, and I feel that the legal errors in the sentence reassure me that representing him in the appeal is the right thing to do," Kaufman said.

Kaufman said there was substance to the defense's claim that Duch had been just a cog in the Khmer Rouge's killing machine, following the orders of his superiors.

"When you take the Khmer Rouge regime into account, which terrorized anyone who disobeyed it," Kaufman said, "you can see why these regimes produce yes-men. People go out of their way to prove their obedience, until the point when the industry of evil becomes banal. Duch is that kind of person, but I was very impressed by the fact that he owned up to that and recognized his own responsibility."

Defendants at the tribunal are typically represented by international and Cambodian co-lawyers, though this is not a requirement; Duch is currently represented by Kar Savuth and Kang Ritheary, both Cambodian. UN court spokesman Lars Olsen said Kaufman is not expected to appear at appeal hearings before the Supreme Court Chamber.

Last month, the court announced that Duch had dismissed international co-lawyer Francois Roux following a "loss of confidence" in his representation. The two had a very public falling out during closing arguments last year, when Duch shocked Roux and the rest of the court by asking for an acquittal.

Kang Ritheary said yesterday that the defence team was close to finalising its notice of appeal.

 

 

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