ECCC Trial Judges Rebuked by Defense Lawyers

The French and Cambodian bar associations have dismissed accusations made by the Khmer Rouge tribunal’s Trial Chamber that lawyers for defendant Khieu Samphan had obstructed proceedings and engaged in professional misconduct, the lawyers said in a statement on Tuesday.

In Oc­tober 2014, lawyers for the Khmer Rouge head of state refused to attend hearings after requests to postpone proceedings—while they prepared their appeal to a guilty verdict in the case’s first phase—were rejected.

In re­sponse, the Trial Chamber referred the lawyers to their respective bar associations and appointed standby counsel.

However, the respective bars found that lawyers Kong Sam Onn, Anta Guisse and Arthur Vercken had not acted unprofessionally.

In Tuesday’s statement, the lawyers said they for­warded the decisions from the Paris bar on Ms. Guisse and Mr. Ver­cken to the Trial Chamber three weeks ago.

They said the Cambodian bar de­cided on Mr. Sam Onn’s case in July.

“The Bar Associations’ disciplinary boards’ findings reflect the Trial Chamber’s judges’ complete lack of un­derstanding of the role, duties, and work of a defence counsel,” it said.

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