Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Defence accuses KRT judge of bias

Defence accuses KRT judge of bias

Defence accuses KRT judge of bias

DEFENCE lawyers for former Khmer Rouge foreign minister Ieng Sary on Monday laid out fresh allegations of bias and rules violations on the part of international co-investigating judge Marcel Lemonde in filings that reiterated their earlier call for his disqualification.

The filings, submitted Monday, refer to a December 2 statement from Wayne Bastin, former chief of the Intelligence and Analysis Unit of the Office of the Co-Investigating Judges (OCIJ).

In October, Bastin provided a witness account of an August meeting in which he said Lemonde expressed a preference for inculpatory, rather than exculpatory, evidence. That statement prompted lawyers Michael Karnavas and Ang Udom to ask for Lemonde’s dismissal as well as for a public hearing in which those present at the meeting would be required to testify.

The new statement and filings contend that Lemonde compromised the confidentiality of the office’s work by allowing a French film crew to record an interview with a potential insider witness, and by ordering that all OCIJ staff be given access to a database of insider witnesses.

The lawyers also take issue with a document on avenues of inquiry supplied by prosecution expert Craig Etcheson. Karnavas and Ang Udom say they were not informed of the document, and that Lemonde’s conduct “strongly suggests” that Etcheson has been allowed to exert “undue influence” over the OCIJ investigation.

Karnavas said by email Monday that all of the alleged transgressions were “serious”.

“From what we are seeing, it would appear that an investigation needs to be done on the OCIJ and in particular the matters raised in our submissions,” he said.

He also noted that the defence team had yet to hear back on its earlier request for Lemonde’s disqualification, a decision on which is pending in the Pre-Trial Chamber.

“Why not let the Cambodian people see what is going on, see how the judicial system functions, and how issues concerning the proper functioning of the ECCC should be resolved in the open?” he said.

UN court spokesman Lars Olsen said Lemonde could not comment on the content of the filings. “Mr Lemonde is very surprised to hear about this filing through the media, because he has not been notified about the filing in accordance with the law,” Olsen said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Government hits back at threats to pull EBA, suspend UN seat

    The spokesman for the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) has said the government is in no way concerned after the European Parliament gave it three months to reverse what it called the “systematic repression of the political opposition”. Ignoring the ultimatum could mean facing

  • Chinese influx pushing locals, Westerners out of Preah Sihanouk

    Some within the Kingdom’s tourism industry have speculated that the recent influx of Chinese visitors may hinder domestic tourism as the price of accommodations in the coastal city of Sihanoukville continues to rise. Preah Sihanouk province, which has become a hotbed for Chinese investment

  • Sar Kheng: Sokha requested security

    Interior Minister Sar Kheng on Sunday revealed the story behind the transfer of former opposition party leader Kem Sokha from Trapaing Phlong prison in Tbong Khmum province to his house in the capital. Speaking at the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) headquarters in Prey

  • ‘Dire consequences’ from sanctions, warns AmCham

    American businesspeople in Cambodia have warned that any sanction against the Kingdom would have “dire consequences” that could push Cambodia even further into the arms of China. In a letter to US senators and representatives dated Monday, the American Chamber of Commerce Cambodia (AmCham) said