Jacque Verges Isn’t Counting Cards, He Actually Gambles
Verges’ strategy of representing his client Khieu Sampan before the ECCC has been no different to the rest of his career. There is absolutely no evidence that Verges has looked into the charges brought against his client by the prosecution and has designed a strategy of a substantive response to these charges. Instead, he has been after the court for not ordering the translation of his client’s case-file into his native French. Although this is not an outlandish claim, cases are not won even if courts admit that the absence of translations of particular documents has been prejudicial to the rights of the accused. There is a gulf between such an admission and a declaration that the abuse of process has been so invasive that the only sensible remedy for it is the termination of charges as serious as those brought against Verges’ client. Once the Pre-Trial Chamber threw out Verges’ motion for termination of the proceedings against his client on the basis of extreme prejudice which he based on the absence of translations for a number of documents in his client’s case-file, Verges did not desist. The next ‘rupture’ argument he advanced was that of the corruption of the court and its unsuitability to deliver justice. Verges’ technique here seems to consist of filing reasonably credible motions, requesting a hearing, and then berating the judges for what he believes to be wrong with the court. The good news for us and Verges’ client is that the court is beginning to grow weary of Jacques’ shenanigans. This manifested itself in the recently issued warning in which the court struck back with the full force of the law enunciating that Verges’ ‘rupturous’ behavior will no longer be tolerated and that the court will take actions necessarily to put a stop to it. The more decisively and expeditiously the court acts, the more likely it is that it won’t be too late for a ‘conventional’ lawyer to save the day.