Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Controversial Case 004 gets new international attorney

Controversial Case 004 gets new international attorney

Controversial Case 004 gets new international attorney

The Khmer Rouge tribunal yesterday announced the assignment of a new international defence attorney to a suspect in the court’s government-opposed Case 004, just days after a court monitoring group blasted the tribunal for blocking defenders’ access to the Case 003 and 004 files.

In a statement yesterday, the court said that Suzana Tomanovic, a lawyer from Bosnia and Herzegovina with experience at the International Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, will be tentatively joining Cambodian lawyer So Mosseny in representing the unnamed Case 004 suspect, pending the results of an investigation into the client’s financial situation.

“[Tomanovic] received her education and legal training in the former Yugoslavia and has over 27 years of experience as a practicing lawyer,” the statement reads. “Recognised as an expert in international criminal defence, Ms Tomanovic was engaged as an expert consultant by the Ieng Sary defence at the ECCC at various points from 2011 to 2013.”

Court legal communications officer Lars Olsen said yesterday that Tomanovic and Mosseny’s assignments would be finalised should a pending investigation confirm that her client is eligible to have the cost of his defence covered under the court’s Legal Assistance Scheme.

Though officially confidential, the identities of the suspects in Case 004 are Ta An, Ta Tith and Im Chem, though it is unclear which one Tomanovic will represent.

Just days before Tomanovic’s assignment, on February 12, the Open Society Justice Initiative slammed the court’s handling of the government-opposed cases 003 and 004, saying its failure to provide defence teams with the case files constituted a failure to adequately protect suspects’ rights.

“The principle of granting defense access to case files serves two purposes: it protects basic fair trial rights, and enhances the efficiency and effectiveness of the investigative and trial process” by allowing defenders to make investigative requests, the statement says.

“Under these circumstances, additional transparency and an explanation from the co-investigating judges – or at least the international co-investigating judge – are required to assure the public that the rights of the suspects are being respected.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Stock photo agencies cash in on Khmer Rouge tragedy
    Stock-photo companies selling images from S-21 raises ethics concerns

    A woman with short-cropped hair stares directly into the camera, her head cocked slightly to the side. On her lap is a sleeping infant just barely in the frame. The woman was the wife of a Khmer Rouge officer who fell out of favour, and

  • Defence Ministry denies weapons in smuggling case came from Cambodia

    After a Thai national was arrested last week for allegedly smuggling guns from Cambodia to Thailand, Cambodia's Defence Ministry has claimed the weapons seized during the arrest are not used in Cambodia, despite the fact that both types of rifle seized are commonly found in

  • Prime Minister: Take back islands from inactive developers

    The government will “take back” land on roughly 30 islands from private companies that have not made progress on planned developments, Prime Minister Hun Sen said in a speech on Monday that also targeted land-grabbing villagers and idle provincial governors. Speaking at the inauguration of the

  • Land on capital’s riverfront is opened up for investment

    The government has signed off on a proposal to designate more than 9 hectares of land along Phnom Penh’s riverfront as state-private land, opening it up for private investment or long-term leasing. The 9.25-hectare stretch of riverfront from the capital’s Night Market to the