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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Investigation flawed: 004 suspect’s lawyers

Investigation flawed: 004 suspect’s lawyers

Lawyers representing Case 004 suspect Ta An said yesterday they had received instructions from their client to take “the necessary action to have the investigation against me dismissed”.

In a statement, Richard Rogers and Mom Luch said the investigation into the government-opposed Case 004 had reached an impasse.

“In the current circumstances, it is difficult to see how the ECCC can provide the suspect with a meaningful opportunity to clear his name,” the statement says.

Speaking to the Post yesterday, Rogers said ongoing turmoil in the Office of the Co-Investigating Judges had affected his client’s rights.

“We are not taking a position on who was right or who was wrong; our concern is that there is an investigation and that it functions properly, and there certainly hasn’t been that for at least six months,” he said. “There have been different approaches between the investigating judges and also the pre-trial chamber judges, and it seems to be disagreement about how this case would move.”

Rogers said the identity of his client was well known and his name had been in the public domain for some time.

“He now carries all the weight of a man accused of mass atrocities, which has the potential to damage his health and security,” he said, adding that his client was 79 years old and in poor health.

The former Khmer Rouge zone deputy secretary is the only one of the five known suspects in cases 003 and 004 to have retained legal counsel.

Rogers said his appointment as defence lawyer had not been smooth, but he had not been denied access to the case file.

Swiss judge Laurent Kasper-Ansermet informed all the suspects in the two cases of their rights before he quit the court at the beginning of this month alleging “egregious dysfunctions” at the tribunal.

Kasper-Ansermet described a situation of serious misconduct at the tribunal in a lengthy note published on the court’s website.

To contact the reporter on this story: Bridget Di Certo at bridget.dicerto@phnompenhpost.com

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