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Khieu Samphan Defense Lawyer Resigns

The Cambodian lawyer of jailed Khmer Rouge leader Khieu Samphan has resigned, tribunal officials said Monday.

Sy Bory resigned last week due to reasons of ill health, said Rupert Skilbeck, head of the tribunal's defense section, declining further detail.

Sy Bory was likely to continue for a short while, but would not be able to complete the entire trial process, Skilbeck said, adding that it was better to replace him sooner rather than later.

Khieu Samphan will have to select new Cambodian representation, Skilbeck said.

Sy Bory's resignation was not likely to affect Khieu Samphan's trial, he said.

"We are confident he will be able to transfer the case smoothly and not cause any delay," Skilbeck said.

Sy Bory's resignation was not likely to bring any consequences for Khieu Samphan, said Hisham Mousar, who monitors the tribunal for the rights group Adhoc.

Sy Bory's work so far was to speak to reporters and to write a letter of appeal against the former leader's pre-trial detention. Khieu Samphan's French lawyer, Jacques Verges, had done much of the casework so far, Hisham Mousar said.

A tribunal statement issued Thursday said a new Cambodian lawyer would be selected "shortly."