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Team seeks to add to appeal

Nuon Chea
Nuon Chea (centre) sits with his co-lawyers during the opening statements in Case 002/02 in October at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia. ECCC

Team seeks to add to appeal

Lawyers for the Khmer Rouge’s “Brother No 2” Nuon Chea have asked to add an addendum to their client’s appeal against his life sentence for crimes against humanity.

The team has requested permission to bolster their appeal, which was submitted yesterday, with the dissenting opinion to a special panel’s decision in November that rejected Chea’s application to dismiss four of five judges from the recently begun Case 002/02.

In a December 23 letter to the court’s Supreme Court Chamber, Chea’s team says its appeal will “refer in detail” to the special panel’s reasoned decision, which has yet to be released.

The letter adds that the special panel decision – which ruled four to one that there were no grounds to dismiss judges over claims of bias – was of “particular importance” to the appeal against the Case 002/01 verdict, which saw Chea and Khieu Samphan given life in prison for crimes against humanity.

“Our main concern is that the decision, particularly the dissenting opinion of Judge Downing, be taken into consideration with the appeal,” said Victor Koppe, one of Chea’s international lawyers, referring to the judge who voted against the majority.

It’s unclear exactly when the full decision will be released.

Court spokesman Lars Olsen said yesterday that the document was still being translated.

Chea’s team has requested two weeks to prepare their addendum after the special panel’s decision is released.

However, Koppe said the extra time to prepare the addition was unlikely to impact the subsequent deadlines, with the court’s co-prosecutors expected to respond to Chea and Samphan’s appeals within 30 days.

A preliminary version of Chea’s appeal submitted in September alleged 223 errors in the court’s conduct of the case, which it said “failed to respect” his right to a fair trial.

Samphan’s team alleged 148 errors and boycotted case 002/02 in order to complete his appeal, which was also lodged yesterday.

Prosecutors have also filed their own appeal, asking that the court permit the use of a broader form of joint criminal enterprise liability.

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