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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Nuon Chea team blamed for ‘chaos’

Nuon Chea team blamed for ‘chaos’

Foreigners working at the Khmer Rouge tribunal were responsible for embroiling the court in chaos that was akin to incitement, government officials said yesterday at a snap news conference.

Press and Quick Reaction Unit deputy president Keo Remy called the conference to attack criticisms of alleged public statements by Prime Minister Hun Sen about the guilt of one of the tribunal’s three elderly accused, who are being tried for crimes against humanity and war crimes.

“There is nothing wrong in expressing that Nuon Chea is a killer and was involved in genocide during the Pol Pot regime,” Keo Remy told about 10 journalists.

“[Nuon Chea defence lawyer Michiel Pestman] is taking the opportunity to bring in political issues at the KR tribunal to cause chaos,” he said, adding: “I found that the chaos was always made by some foreigners [at the tribunal].

“We will not surrender to incitement caused by a small group of foreigners,” he said, adding that comments by court monitor Open Society Justice Initiative in Monday’s Post show they consistently back those doing the inciting.

Keo Remy said Hun Sen continued to consider his legal options in response to Michiel Pestman’s call for the tribunal to “officially condemn” the premier’s statements.

Government attorney Key Tech told the Post: “There is still no official discussion. I will wait to see.’’

No motion from the Nuon Chea defence team calling on the Trial Chamber to prevent the premier making further prejudicial comments on Case 002 was publicly available by deadline yesterday.

Tribunal legal affairs spokesman Lars Olsen said the admissibility of any such motion would be up to the Trial Chamber to determine.

Michiel Pestman could not be reached for comment yesterday. 

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