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Nuon Chea Appeals Detention Extension

Defense lawyers for Nuon Chea, the senior-most surviving Khmer Rouge leader, have filed an appeal against an extension of his tribunal detention for another year, as an investigation into his alleged atrocity crimes continues.

Lawyer Son Arun said Nuon Chea, who was arrested more than one year ago, should be released.

Investigating judges at the tribunal last week ordered an extension of Nuon Chea’s detention while they continue to investigate charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity against him.

Nuon Chea, 82, was known as Brother No. 2, and was second only to Pol Pot during the brutal reign of Democratic Kampuchea. He was arrested at his home in the former stronghold of Pailin in September 2007.

Tribunal spokesman Reach Sambath said the ruling was proper under the “laws and internal rules” of the tribunal.

Observers said the ruling could extend the mandate of the cash-strapped courts to as far off as 2010 at a time when the UN-Cambodia hybrid courts are seeking funds to operate through the end of 2009.