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Lawyer Agrees to Defend Khieu Samphan

Jailed Khmer Rouge leader Khieu Samphan has chosen a replacement Cambodian lawyer, a professor of law at a private university named Sar Sovan.

Sar Sovann, a 69-year-old who studied law in France and returned to Cambodia in 1994, will represent Khieu Samphan as the aging former Khmer Rouge president continues proceedings at the tribunal.

Sar Sovann said Monday he had confirmed his appointment with the tribunal July 17.

Sar Sovann is replacing Say Bory, who resigned as defense earlier this month, and will join French defense attorney Jacques Verges.

He agreed to defend Khieu Samphan because "he and I are not enemies," Sar Sovann said.

"I have the legal action to defend Khieu Samphan, but I cannot guarantee Khieu Samphan will get out of the charges [against him]," Sar Sovann said.

Rupert Skilbeck confirmed Sar Sovann was selected, but he said no formal announcement has been made.