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Judges reject appeal

The Khmer Rouge tribunal’s highest body yesterday dismissed an appeal filed by Nuon Chea’s lawyers seeking an investigation into government meddling and a stay in the proceedings, ruling – like the Trial Chamber before it – that there was little evidence to suggest any alleged interference would have impacted Case 002.

“In the absence of specificity as to what particular offensive conduct or outcome should be investigated, the Defence essentially seeks to engage in an open-ended inquiry whose only purpose appears to be in creating a premise to halt the proceedings in Case 002, a goal against which the Trial Chamber is right to guard,” the Supreme Court Chamber judges wrote.

In April, set to coincide with his resignation, international co-investigating judge Laurent Kasper-Ansermet issued a damning report on the lengths national staff had gone to block investigations into government-opposed cases 003 and 004.

Chea’s lawyers said the memo was proof of government interference and called for investigation, a request rejected by the Trial Chamber last year.

Though the Supreme Court Chamber upheld the rejection, they chided the judges for accusing the defence of discrimination and hinting they could sanction the lawyers.

“Such warnings should therefore not be issued lightly, and should be reserved for conduct that objectively lends itself to certain qualification as discrimination,” they wrote.

To contact the reporter on this story: Abby Seiff at abby.seiff@phnompenhpost.com
Follow Abby Seiff on twitter at: @instupor

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