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Tribunal Judges Admonish Ieng Sary’s Laywers

Investigating judges for the Khmer Rogue tribunal on Thursday issued a stern warning to the defense team of Ieng Sary against breaking the filing rules of the UN-backed court.

Ieng Sary, the former foreign affairs minister of the regime, is facing an upcoming atrocity crimes trial, along with four other Khmer Rouge leaders currently in court detention.

Jugdes Marcel Lemonde and You Bunleng wrote in their official warning that Ieng Sary’s lawyers had broken the rules by filing “duplicitous” motions on issues already addressed by the court. They further warned the defense lawyers not to conduct “their own investigations” and ordered them to “comply” with tribunal rules.

Tribunal spokesman Lars Olsen said the sanction was a warning to the legal team. If the lawyers further violate practices on filings, they could be prevented from appearing before the court and be reported to the Cambodian Bar Association.

Ang Udom, a lawyer for Ieng Sary, called the sanction a “constraint to our freedom,” but said he was not concerned by it.

The sanction came three days after the defense team filed a complaint that claimed their client had been intimidated during the investigation into his alleged atrocity crimes.

Also on Thursday, the investigating judges sought to remind civil party applicants they can file “complementary information” through April 29. The announcement follows dissatisfaction among some victims who worried they would be left out of the tribunal process.

Meanwhile, international donors in New York on Tuesday approved a budget for the next two years of the tribunal, allocating $42 million for 2010 and $43 million for 2011, the Phnom Penh Post reported.