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KR biographer may not testify in tribunal

Author and Pol Pot biographer Philip Short may not testify as an expert at the Khmer Rouge tribunal next month because of scheduling difficulties and the failing health of one of the defendants, according to a document posted on the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia website on Friday.

The schedule, which initially placed Short in an October 1 slot, was shaken up after the defence team for former Khmer Rouge minister of foreign affairs Ieng Sary said the 86-year-old would not waive his right to participate in the trial during Short’s testimony.

Sary is being treated for a variety of ailments in hospital and his return to court soon is unlikely, his lawyers and doctors have said. Short has told the court a project he is working on is demanding and he would prefer to testify next year.

Wendy Lobwein, a co-ordinator with the court’s Witness and Experts Support Unit, wrote to a legal officer for the Trial Chamber on Thursday that unless an agreed-upon date is set this week, Short will not be able to attend. 

To contact the reporter on this story: Joe Freeman at joseph.freeman@phnompenhpost.com

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