Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Lawyers fire back at Nuon Chea defence

Lawyers fire back at Nuon Chea defence

Lawyers fire back at Nuon Chea defence

The prosecution at the Khmer Rouge tribunal has issued a response a motion by the Nuon Chea defence team to disqualify the current trial chamber judges on grounds of bias, saying the motion is founded on shoddy reasoning, and should be “dismissed outright”.

In their original filing, the defence argued, among other things, that the court’s refusal to summons National Assembly President Heng Samrin; the chamber’s seemingly dismissive attitude towards defence positions; and Cambodian judges’ purported inability to separate the case from their own experiences under the Khmer Rouge amounted to an unmistakable appearance of bias.

The prosecution, however, argued in Friday’s filing that many of the Chea defence’s allegations were a “mischaracterisation of facts and misapplication of law”.

“The Application is simply another volley in Nuon Chea’s longstanding and illegitimate strategy to undermine the [Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia] as an institution rather than confront the overwhelming evidence of his criminal responsibility,” the filing reads.

Much of the defence’s allegations of national judges’ bias are drawn from remarks given by ex-judge Silvia Cartwright, who said at least two judges on the bench were victims of crimes up for consideration in the upcoming Case 002/02, and that Cambodian judges could often be heard making disapproving utterances in court.

However, the prosecution argues, the substance of Cartwright’s remarks “merely reflected her personal speculation”, given that specific crime sites – and the specific judges themselves – have not been identified.

Court legal communications officer Lars Olsen said yesterday that since the matter was currently under judgment, he was unable to comment as to whether an investigation into Cartwright’s remarks was under way.


  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all