Verges returns to the KRT
Thursday, 04 December 2008
FORMER Khmer Rouge head of state Khieu Samphan is to return to the
dock today for a public hearing that will once again see his co-
lawyers demand his entire case file be translated into French.
Co-lawyers Sa Sovan and Jacques Verges declared in August that their
client's trial could not proceed until thousands of pages of court
documents were translated into Verges' native tongue, French.
They are now appealing the court's decision to deny the translation.
Verges, nicknamed the "devil's advocate" for defending notorious
figures such as Nazi war crimes suspect Klaus Barbie, claims it is
impossible to ensure a fair trial if he cannot understand the charges
against his client.
"When we detain someone with no clear explanation of why he was
arrested, it is illegal and an abuse of human rights," Verges'
counterpart Sa Sovan told the Post Wednesday.
"Our purpose is not to delay the trial. I support my co-lawyer and
demand documents be translated into French."
But observers have been more sceptical of the defence team, in
particular of Verges, who is known for his abrupt and theatrical
"This is a defence technique to delay the trial," said Sok Sam Oeun of
the Cambodian Defenders Project.