The Khmer Rouge tribunal has set a new date for the resumption of appeal hearings in Case 002/01 following a contentious walkout by defence lawyers for appellant Nuon Chea on November 17.
According to a court document released last week, the Supreme Court Chamber has set February 16 for the resumption of the appeals of Chea and his co-defendant, Khieu Samphan, both of whom were convicted of crimes against humanity in August of 2014.
In addition, the court appointed Phat Pouv Seang as national standby counsel for Chea on December 16 for a term of three months. Seang’s role, according to the document, is to provide legal counsel if Chea’s lawyers are once again absent from the courtroom.
However, the filing goes on to make it explicit that Seang “shall not consult with, or take direction from, Nuon Chea, unless so ordered by this Chamber”.
Meanwhile, in a redacted document dated December 23, the court’s pretrial chamber dismissed a request by defenders Ang Udom and Michael Karnavas – who represent Case 003 suspect Meas Muth – to annul investigative actions taken by former investigating judge Mark Harmon.
To pass, the request required four votes in favour. However, in spite of the three national judges voting in favour of annulling the findings of the investigation, the two international judges found the investigation admissible.
The tribunal’s national side has routinely resisted pursuing the cases against Muth and the other suspects in Cases 003 and 004, which have been vocally opposed by Prime Minister Hun Sen.