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Khieu Samphan Mulls Replacement Defense

Jailed Khmer Rouge president Khieu Samphan is sorting through a list of replacement defense lawyers, following the resignation of his Cambodian defense, officials said Thursday.

"We are in the process of seeking a new lawyer," said Rupert Skilbeck, head of the tribunal's defense section. "We have a list which contains about 50 Cambodian lawyers, and so we are looking at the possible candidates."

Cambodian lawyer Say Bory announced he would resign as defense last week, citing health concerns.

Khieu Samphan, 76, faces charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Khieu Samphan "is already looking at the list, and so we will assist him to make his choice," Skilbeck said.

No hearing has been set yet by the pre-trial chamber of judges, and no further delays are expected, Skilbeck said.

"The judges declared previously that they will finish the case soon, around September or October," tribunal spokesman Reach Sambath said. "So far, Khieu Samphan's case will be held during that time, if nothing changes."

"Khieu Samphan is choosing [his lawyer], but he has not decided yet," Say Bory said Thursday. "Maybe tomorrow, or very, very soon."