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Credibility of witness called into question at Khmer Rouge court

In a filing submitted to the Khmer Rouge tribunal last Friday, the defence for Ieng Sary argued at length against the inclusion of expert witness TCE-33.

They maintained TCE-33 was wholly biased, had already sought to undermine the accused’s defence and might even be a former spy.

“TCE-33 has, for all intents and purposes, pre-judged this case and is simply incapable of being a fair and impartial expert,” the filing read, noting the witness’s book Seven Candidates for Prosecution, which named Sary as one such candidate. 

The submission’s description of TCE-33 – which includes work history and authorship of specific articles – closely matches that of controversial former tribunal employee Stephen Heder.

“Finally, as additional evidence of TCE-33’s unsuitability to testify as an expert, the Defence has evidence indicating that TCE-33 may have been employed by the United States Central Intelligence Agency (“CIA”) during the period relevant to the Indictment, an allegation TCE-33 has failed to deny,” the filing continued.

When asked about the filing yesterday, Heder declined to comment.

Sary’s defence counsel, Michael Karnavas, called the additional witnesses an attempt by the prosecution to “pursue their objective to expand and go beyond Case 002/01,” but declined to confirm whether TCE-33 was, in fact, Heder. 

To contact the reporters on this story: Stuart White at stuart.white@phnompenhpost.com
Joe Freeman at joseph.freeman@phnompenhpost.com

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