The Khmer Rouge tribunal announced on Wednesday that a standby lawyer for Nuon Chea would be present in the courtroom when hearings resume in February.
The appeal hearings, which will restart on February 16, come after Nuon Chea’s international co-lawyer, Victor Koppe, protested court proceedings by failing to appear before the Supreme Court Chamber in November for the appeal against the guilty verdict for crimes against humanity handed to his client in August last year.
His national co-lawyer, Son Arun, initially appeared, but later exited the room at the request of his client. Wednesday’s statement, signed by Kong Srim, president of the Supreme Court Chamber, stated that Phat Pouv Seang, was on December 16 appointed standby counsel for three months, initially.
Mr. Pouv Seang is a former defense counsel for the regime’s late “first lady” Ieng Thirith.
“The role of the Standby Co-Lawyer for Nuon Chea will not be that of replacing Nuon Chea’s chosen lawyers, but rather that of providing proper legal assistance to Nuon Chea during the hearing should his chosen Co-Lawyers fail to be present in the courtroom,” it said.