KR Prosecutors Seek Stepped-Up Hearing Schedule

Prosecutors and civil party lawyers at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal on Tuesday filed a joint request that hearings in the current trial of former regime leaders Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan be extended to four sitting days per week in an effort to bring “an expeditious conclusion” to the proceedings.

The court has been scheduled to convene only twice a week, to give the defense teams additional time to prepare appeal briefs against their clients’ convictions for crimes against humanity in the first phase of the trial.

The appeal briefs are due on December 29. In their request, the lawyers state that internal communications have not addressed the number of days the Trial Chamber intends to sit when proceedings resume on January 8.

“This request is justified by the necessity to respect the right of all parties to an expeditious conclusion of this very long-awaited trial for crimes committed during the 1975-1979 Democratic Kampuchea period,” the lawyers wrote.

Victor Koppe, international co-lawyer for Nuon Chea, said he was confused by the request.

“I didn’t really understand the request because I was under the impression we had four days a week, so it’s fine with me,” he said.

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