JUDGES at the Khmer Rouge tribunal on Wednesday rejected a request for the disqualification of International Co-Investigating Judge Marcel Lemonde in response to bias allegations.
The request was filed in October by defence lawyers for former Khmer Rouge foreign minister Ieng Sary after Wayne Bastin, a former chief of the Intelligence and Analysis Unit of the Office of the Co-Investigating Judges, provided a witness account of an August meeting during which, he said, Lemonde expressed a preference for inculpatory rather than exculpatory evidence.
Lemonde said in November that he did not recall the remarks to which Bastin referred, and said that if he had made them, he would have done so “in jest, as would have been obvious to everyone present”.
The Pre-Trial Chamber ruled Wednesday that the evidence supporting the Ieng Sary team’s request was “not very strong”. The rejection of the request cannot be appealed.
Michael Karnavas, Ieng Sary’s international lawyer, vowed on Wednesday to press on with an additional request for Lemonde’s dismissal, filed Monday, based on a December 2 statement in which Bastin accused Lemonde of compromising the confidentiality of his office’s investigation, among other things.
“The additional information was obviously not considered,” Karnavas said. “We accept the [Pre-Trial Chamber’s] reasoning, but in light of Mr Bastin’s second statement we would be acting contrary to our client’s best interests if we did not pursue these matters.”