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Nuon Chea Calls for Judge’s Removal

The lawyer of jailed Khmer Rouge leader Nuon Chea has called for the removal from the proceedings of judge Ney Thol, who is also the chief of Cambodia’s military courts.

Lawyer Victor Koppe confirmed Tuesday he had filed a motion to disqualify Ney Thol, but Koppe declined to elaborate.

“We are waiting for the response of the prosecution and the decision of the ECCC,” he said, referring to the tribunal by its official name, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia.

Legal experts said Ney Thol’s dual positions could constitute a conflict of interest, but Ney Thol said Tuesday the motion was “inappropriate.”

Ney Thol recused himself from a hearing for Kaing Khek Iev, alias Duch, in November, because the former prison chief had been held for years under the military courts.

Tribunal spokesman Reach Sambath declined to comment on the motion.

Nuon Chea is to face a hearing for his pre-trial release Feb. 4.