Lawyer for Khmer Rouge’s Nuon Chea was practising illegally, says Cambodian bar association, casting mistrial risk over historic verdict

Victor Koppe is dismissed by a UN-backed tribunal in Cambodia after the bar association reports he was unregistered as a lawyer in the Netherlands in 2016.

The defence lawyer for Nuon Chea, Pol Pot’s infamous “Brother No 2” in Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge regime, may have been working without proper legal authority for years, adding yet another layer of uncertainty to the United Nations-backed tribunal that has dragged on for nine years.

The disclosure, found in a document issued by the Cambodian Bar Association (BAKC) on December 11 and seen by the South China Morning Post, cast in doubt the proceedings of the highly publicised international tribunal that led to the guilty verdict rendered last month, and raises the possibility of a mistrial or an appeal.

Victor Koppe was dismissed by the tribunal after it came to light that he was not registered as a lawyer in Cambodia when he represented Chea in court last month.

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