KRT confirms new co-lawyer appointed for Khieu Samphan
The Mekong Times
Friday, July 25 - Sunday, July 27, 2008
Former Khmer Rouge Head of State Khieu Samphan has selected a new lawyer for his defense at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal (KRT) after the last one quit citing poor health, according to a KRT statement released Thurday.
Sa Sovann, a 69-year-old Paris-educated lawyer, will replace Say Bory as Khieu Samphan's
Cambodia co-lawyer. His international counterpart will be the controversial, self-styled 'devils advocate' Jacque Verges, who has made his name defending notorious terrorists and dictators.
During his sole appearance to date at the KRT, Verges furiously stormed out of a closed-door meeting at Khieu Samphan's appeal hearing in April, claiming the court had failed to translate all of his client's case file into French.
The KRT counterclaimed that all filings concerning the appeal were made available in Eyeing Cambodia’s recent rice Khmer, English and French, adjourned the case and gave Verges a warning for "abusing the processes of the Pre-Trial Chamber and the rights of the charged person [Khieu Samphan]."
Say Bory, also 69, quit the position of Khieu Samphan's co-lawyer earlier this month claiming that unspecified health reasons would make it impossible for him to complete the trial, though some observers suggested he had problems working with Verges.
Vergès, 83, has known Khieu Samphan since both were active in left-wing student activities in Paris in the 1950s. Khieu Samphan stands charged with crimes against humanity and war crimes committed while the Khmer Rouge held power in 1975-79.
The KRT has yet to announce when Khieu Samphan's appeal hearing will be re-heard.