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KR defendants ask for Judge Cartwright to step down

Lawyers for former Khmer Rouge leaders Nuon Chea and Ieng Sary interjected at the beginning of today’s Case 002 proceedings, requesting that New Zealand Trial Chamber Judge Silvia Cartwright step down from her judicial position immediately, pending an investigation into alleged secret, ex-parte meetings she had been conducting over the past year with British prosecutor Andrew Cayley and Deputy Director of Administration Knut Rosandhaug.

Nuon Chea defense counsel Andrew Ianuzzi said the disqualification should be dealt with promptly.

“In Cambodian procedure, a judge would be required to step down while an investigation was pending,” Ianuzzi said. “We feel Judge Cartwright should use her discretion to step down.”

Fellow Nuon Chea defence counsel Michel Pestman told the Trial Chamber this morning, “In our request, we indicated we want the Trial Chamber to summon Cayley to provide a statement, and in keeping with proper procedure, it would be better to have Cartwright step aside until this matter is resolved.”

Ieng Sary’s counsel said their client had prepared a statement he wished to read aloud to the court concerning the matter.

“We do take it to be a very serious matter,” Ang Udom, Ieng Sary’s defence counsel said. “We have a judge on the bench and a prosecutor in the case having certain meetings. We may not enjoy the same rights and privileges as the prosecution may have - as Cayley must have - and so request Cartwright step aside pending the investigation.”

Trial Chamber President Nil Nonn denied Ieng Sary’s request to read aloud a statement and refused the request for the immediate disqualification of Judge Silvia Cartwright, saying the issue would be addressed “in due course.”

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