Khieu Samphan Ignores Deadline to End Trial Boycott

Former Khmer Rouge leader Khieu Samphan has ignored a deadline to end his defense team’s boycott of Case 002/02 as they focus on preparing an appeal against his recent conviction for crimes against humanity, one of his lawyers confirmed Tuesday.

On Monday, the Khmer Rouge tribunal set a deadline of 4:30 p.m. Tuesday for the 83-year-old to reverse his position or have the court expedite proceedings, which could include the appointment of new counsel against his will.

Anta Guisse, one of Khieu Samphan’s lawyers, said her client had not withdrawn his instructions to boycott proceedings.

“It’s not a whim from his part to annoy the Trial Chamber but a urge to be able to defend himself properly,” she said in an email. Ms. Guisse said that appointing new lawyers would simply “give the appearance of a defense” but hinder the appeal.

Reclassifying them as court-appointed lawyers, another option that would loosen Khieu Samphan’s control over them, would not stop their boycott, either, she added. The case is scheduled to resume on Monday.

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