Ta Mok will be tried in roughly a month and up to 80 witnesses— including high-ranking government officials—will be called to testify by the defense, his attorney said Friday.
“We will not only try Ta Mok, not only try the one-legged man, but the two-legged men also will be tried,” Benson Samay said at a press conference at his office.
According to Agence France-Presse, investigating judge Ngin Sam An confirmed that “the investigation is complete now and the trial will be next month.”
The former Khmer Rouge military chief, who was charged in early March with being a member of a group outlawed in 1994, must by law be put on trial by early September.
“We will try Ta Mok first for [being a member of] the Khmer Rouge and then a second time for genocide,” Benson Samay said. “The first trial will be by the end of August because the investigation is done. The court told me so. We can try Ta Mok two times because they are different charges.”
Benson Samay declined to name any of the individuals he will call to testify, but added that “there may be some in the palace” and in the government.
The trial, for which an exact date has not been set, will not involve international assistance, Benson Samay said. “This is not a difficult trial. I think it will be a fair trial,” he said.
If for some reason the trial does not commence by the end of next month, Benson Samay said he will request that Ta Mok be freed.
More than 40 CPP lawmakers recently petitioned to amend Article 14 to allow those charged with genocide to be detained for up to five years without a trial, instead of the six months now mandated under the law. Funcinpec and Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarians oppose such an amendment.
(Additional reporting by Hillary A Jackson)