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Judges Threaten Sanctions of Tribunal Defense Team

The defense team for jailed Khmer Rouge leader Ieng Sary agreed to temporarily withdraw information from a Web site Wednesday, following orders from tribunal judges over concerns of confidentiality.

Ang Udom, Cambodian defense for Ieng Sary, said the team had decided to remove the content in order to retain good relations with the court.

“Most of what [the judges] raised is incorrect,” he said. “We posted only what was related to legal procedure, that which we expect the public should know, understand and hear and that [the judges] hide.”

In a statement posted on their Web site Wednesday, the defense lawyers strongly disagreed with a court order to remove information posted on the site and said they planned to issue a public response to the “flawed legal reasoning” of the Office of Co-Investigating Judges.

The “confidential” documents sited by the investigating judges are, “in fact, public,” the lawyers said.

Tuesday’s order called for the removal of three documents from the site, the lawyers said: the appeal against the tribunal’s refusal to appoint a psychiatrist to Ieng Sary and requests for information about two international staff members of the court.

In a letter to the defense, investigating judges Marcel Lemonde and You Bunleng ordered the removal of the documents within 48 hours, threatening legal consequences if the order was not followed.

Ieng Sary, 84, whose health is the poorest among five jailed leaders, faces charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity for his role as foreign minister of and senior leader of the regime.

Tribunal spokesman Reach Sambath said his defense team had posted documents that were already banned by investigating judges.