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Nuon Chea Hires Foreign Lawyer, Requests Pre-Trial Release

Khmer Rouge ideologue Nuon Chea has appointed a Dutch war crimes lawyer and requested his release ahead of an atrocity crimes trial, the tribunal courts said Thursday.

Lawyer Michiel Pestman studied law and political science and is on the list of Defense Counsel for the International Criminal Courts.

"I will do everything that I can to ensure that our client receives a fair trial. It is essential that he has a proper defense,"

Pestman said in the statement released by the tribunal. Pestman was a member of a team representing Bosnia and Herzegovina at the International Court of Justice on charges stemming from the Serbian genocide, according to the statement. He represented Sierra Leonian militia leader Moinina Fofana, who was found guilty of war crimes in August and sentenced to six years by a special court established for atrocity crimes.

The request for Nuon Chea's pre-trial release follows a similar request by Khmer Rouge cadre Duch, whose release hearing in November will be public in an effort to garner more civic participation in the trials of former Khmer Rouge leaders.