Khmernews

Nuon Chea’s Lawyer Appeals For Reduction of Questioning Time

Posted by khmernews on October 24, 2007

Nate Pheaktra

In order that the questioning of Nuon Chea at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) would not be delayed again, Son Arun, lawyer of Nuon Chea, former brother number two of the Khmer Rouge regime, said last week that he had appealed to the ECCC for the reduction of questioning time on his client. He demanded that his client be asked for one hour the longest and the questioning could be made two or three times a week.
Son Arun explained that Nuon Chea was already 82 years old and had got high blood pressure, dizziness, and heart problem which he could not endure a long questioning.  “If Nuon Chea has health problem during the questioning, it will make the answers uncertain and useless and the question will have to be made again and again,” warned Son Arun, adding that some questionings have been cancelled due to Nuon Chea’s unexpected health problem. The lawyer of former brother number two of the Khmer Rouge regime pointed out, “A good questioning has to be made when Nuon Chea is ok, and the answers will be useful for the history because the Khmer Rouge case is a big case and is also participated by international side.”

However, it is not known how the Khmer Rouge Tribunal will react to the request of Nuon Chea’s lawyer.

You Bunleng, ECCC’s Co-Investigating Judge who co-operates with Co-Investigating Judge Marcel Lemonde to question Nuon Chea, said today that everything depended on the real situation of Nuon Chea’s health condition. You Bunleng also claimed that the Khmer Rouge Tribunal was paying very much attention on health of the accused Nuon Chea and that whenever there was questioning, doctors some of whom were from abroad were on standby to deal with Nuon Chea’s health problem.

Co-Investigating Judge You Bunleng raised a question, “When will questioning of Nuon Chea ends if it is delayed like what the lawyer has requested?”

However, observers of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal has recommended that Nuon Chea’s health should be prioritised because Nuon Chea’s answers can be used as key to arrest and accusation of other surviving Khmer Rouge leaders and because he can tell the truth of the killings of millions of people during the Khmer Rouge regime.

Nuon Chea was arrested to the Khmer Rouge Tribunal on September 19, 2007 and has been charged with crimes against humanity and war crimes committed between 1975 and 1979. The arrest has been made after the ECCC charged Duch, former chief of notorious S-21 torture center, with crimes against humanity.

Son Arun said that the Dutch lawyer who Nuon Chea had selected already arrived in Cambodia in order to defend Nuon Chea in the Khmer Rouge Tribunal.

The Khmer Rouge Tribunal is known to have planned to hold trial of former Khmer Rouge leaders in early 2008. For the trial, Son Arun claimed that he was always optimistic in defending his client former Khmer Rouge leader Nuon Chea.

Unofficial Translation
-Extracted from Samne Thmey, # 132, Monday-Sunday, October 22-28, 2007.

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