Banned from publishing their own legal pleadings on the Internet, lawyers for Ieng Sary used their independent website Tuesday to publish a summary of an appeal filed at the Khmer Rouge tribunal.
In the statement, lawyers Michael Karnavas and Ang Udom said they had lodged an appeal on Tuesday asking the court’s Pre-Trial Chamber to allow them to maintain a website and publicize their own arguments. The lawyers asked that the appeal be debated at a public hearing.
In their strongest admonitions to any defense team so far, the tribunal’s Co-Investigating Judges Marcel Lemonde and You Bunleng on March 3 threatened to sanction Ang Udom and Karnavas if they failed to remove any documents from their website that had not already been published by the tribunal within 48 hours. The defense subsequently complied with the order but promised an appeal.
In the order, the judges said the documents concern continuing, confidential investigations and that only the judges may decide what may be published.
After openly denouncing the tribunal for allegedly suppressing defense pleadings, the defense in December announced their intention to establish a website in order to take their arguments directly to the public.
“Any allegedly confidential document posted on the defense website was only confidential to protect the rights of Mr Ieng Sary, rights which he may waive,” the lawyers wrote in the summary of the appeal filed Tuesday.
“The failure of the [co-investigating judges] and Pre-Trial Chamber to sanction their own repeated violations of their obligations of confidentiality displays discrimination in treatment between the defense team and other organs of the ECCC.”
Lawyers for both the Nuon Chea and Ieng Sary defense teams have expressed concern about the decision by judicial investigators to permit a French documentary team to film secret parts of the investigation.
The court in August began a review of internal procedures after an unexpurgated copy of the indictment of former S-21 Chairman Kaing Guek Eav was mistakenly released and published on at least two websites.